Directors Edward Kull & Wilbur F McGaugh
Producers Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ben S Cohen,
Ashton Dearholt & George W Stout
Story Edgar Rice Burroughs
Screenplay Edwin Blum, Basil Dickey
& Charles F Royal

Tarzan Herman Brix
Ula Vale Ula Holt
P B Raglan Don Castello & Ashton Dearholt
Major Martling Frank Baker
George Lewis Sargent
Alice Martling Dale Walsh
Bouchart Merrill McCormick
Gordon Hamilton Harry Ernest
Captain Blade Jack Mower

• In the summer of 1934 Edgar Rice Burroughs accepted an offer to become a fourth partner in a project called Burroughs Tarzan Enterprises (BTE), a film company whose chief business would be to promote Burroughs' works.  He had long been disgusted by Hollywood's portrayal of his jungle hero as an inarticulate hermit but was also keen to obtain a larger share of the lucrative profits the films attracted.  He roughed out an original story called "Tarzan and the Green Goddess" which was turned into a screenplay for a serial by Charles Royal and Edwin Blum.  As the company had no studios it was felt that the film should be made on location.  One of the BTE partners, Ashton Dearholt, an ex-silent film actor and sometime adventurer, suggested Guatemala, and in late 1934 an expedition of twenty-nine BTE cast and crew embarked for Central America.  25-year-old Olympic athlete Herman Brix (shot-put silver medalist Amsterdam 1928), who had been deprived the opportunity to play the lead in Tarzan the Ape Man (1932) because of a broken shoulder, finally got a chance to portray the character.  Filming took four months in extreme tropical conditions and was plagued by difficulties.  Dearholt took over the part of the villain, Raglan, when actor Don Castello became ill.  The film, which was released in June 1934, was very disappointing and lacked the polish of the MGM productions and BTE only made four other films before the company folded.

• To hear the ape cry used by Tarzan in this film click on the image at right

PLOT - Note: Spoiler warning
• Tarzan travels to Guatemala when he learns that his friend, D'Arnot, has gone missing there.  In transit he makes friends with Major Martling and his daughter, Alice, who are traveling to some Mayan ruins seeking the jewels hidden in a sacred idol.  The idol also contains a document with a secret formula for a powerful explosive.  Also on the trail of the idol is Raglan, a villain keen to steal the jewels and the formula and a mysterious woman named Ula Vale, a British agent keen to prevent the formula from falling into the wrong hands.  Raglan threatens the lives of all who get in his way and eventually the party are taken captive by the natives who live in the lost city where the idol is venerated.  Tarzan also discovers his friend D'Arnot has been a prisoner of the city for some time and also learns that the Mayan queen wants him as her lover (right).  He rejects her advances and fights off her hordes of men only to discover he must pursue Raglan who has made off with the idol.  He defeats Raglan and hands the idol over to Major Martling and Alice who decide to share the jewels inside with their friends.  Tarzan is happy to have accomplished his mission of freeing his old friend, D'Arnot.

Chapter 1 - The New Adventures of Tarzan Chapter 2 - Crossed Trails Chapter 3 - The Devil's Noose
Chapter 4 - River Perils Chapter 5 - Unseen Hands Chapter 6 - Fatal Fangs
Chapter 7 - Flaming Waters Chapter 8 - Angry Gods Chapter 9 - Doom's Brink
Chapter 10 - Secret Signals Chapter 11 - Death's Fireworks Chapter 12 - Operator No. 17

Click on the play button below to view the complete feature-length film version of this serial:

Click on the image below to view a selection of lobby cards for this film:

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 my personal collection
• The video of the complete film version is courtesy of Google videos
• Read a review and rating of this film at At-A-Glance Film Reviews
• IMDb's (Internet Movie Database) Herman Brix (as Bruce Bennett) filmography
• Bag yourself a copy of this film on DVD at or eBay

TARZAN® is the property of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., Tarzana CA.
This independent, fan-based analysis of the Tarzan material is copyright © 2002-2007 Paul Wickham
This page was updated June 2010