Director Harry Revier
Producer Adolph, Louis & Max Weiss
Story Edgar Rice Burroughs
Adaptation Robert Saxmar

Tarzan Gene Pollar
Jane Parker Karla Schramm
Countess de Coude Estelle Taylor
Nikolas Rokoff Armand Cortes
Paul D'Arnot Franklin B Coates
Count de Coude George Romain
Ivan Paulovich Walter Miller

• The success of the National Film Corporation Tarzan pictures soon had other studios competing for rights to an ape-man property.  ERB's contempt for Bill Parsons persuaded him to accept a deal with Numa Pictures Corporation to film his second Tarzan novel, The Return of Tarzan, believing theirs to be the best offer. Numa Pictures, an offshoot of Artclass Pictures Corporation, which had a reputation for producing shoddy and cheap products, was run by the three Weiss brothers, Louis, Max and Adolph.  They approached Elmo Lincoln to star but his commitments with serials for Universal prevented him from accepting.  His replacement was a tall, stocky, athletic New York fireman named Joseph C Pohler who had aspirations of being an actor.  He was a giant of a man for the times and stood almost 6 feet 2.5 inches tall (189 cm) and weighed 215 pounds (97.5 kg).  Joe Pohler, who had no acting experience, was persuaded to change his name to Gene Pollar and the petite Karla Schramm was cast as Jane.  New York, Florida, and Balboa, California were used for the location shooting and an orangutan named Joe Martin, a famous screen ape, an elephant named Charlie and seven lions were utilised.  In April 1920 Numa, seeking a quick profit, sold the film to Goldwyn Pictures for $100,000.  Goldwyn changed the name to The Revenge of Tarzan believing that The Return of Tarzan gave the impression it was a re-release of an earlier Elmo Lincoln picture.  In an interview in the May 1934 edition of Screen Play magazine ERB had the last word on Pollar's performance as Tarzan - "As an actor, Gene was a great fireman." (Essoe & Fury)

PLOT - Note: Spoiler warning
• The complex plot follows, more or less, that of ERB's second Tarzan novel, The Return of Tarzan.  Tarzan makes enemies of a pair of shady Russians, Rokoff and Paulovich, when he rescues the Count de Coude from a card hustle on board a ship to Paris.  On arrival the villains fail in their attempt to kill Tarzan using a distressed woman as bait.  They then resort to damaging his reputation by contriving an embarrasing situation in which the Count discovers Tarzan alone with his wife (right).  Tarzan leaves for North Africa and encounters an attractive native girl in the desert when she helps save him from an attacking lion.  He makes his way to a port and embarks for Capetown but on board he is hijacked by the Russians and thrown overboard.  He reaches a tropical island where, coincidentally, Jane, Rokoff and Paulovich, also arrive following a shipwreck.  The villains argue over possession of Jane and Tarzan must intervene, saving Jane from a lion in the process.  The lovers are finally peacefully reunited. (Fury)

Tarzan of the Movies by Gabe Essoe, 1968, The Citadel Press
Kings of the Jungle by David Fury, 1994, McFarland Classics
• Both photos are from Essoe
• Essay: Five Tarzans - The Silent Apemen by Gene Popa
• Jerry L Schneider's web page devoted to The Weiss Brothers & Numa Pictures Corporation
• Essay: Five Tarzans - The Silent Apemen by Gene Popa
Learn much more about this film at Bill Hillman's comprehensive The Revenge of Tarzan page

There are currently no surviving copies of this film

TARZAN® is the property of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., Tarzana CA.
This independent, fan-based analysis of the Tarzan material is copyright © 2002 Paul Wickham
This page was updated April 2007