Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The New Adventures of Tarzan Complete 1935 Serial|
Actors: Frank Baker, Herman Brix, Harry Ernest, Ula Holt, Lewis Sargent
Directors: Edward A. Kull, W.F. McGaugh
Genres: Action & Adventure
Complete 12-episode serial of The New Adventures of Tarzan! Total Running Time: 4 hrs Episode Menu: New Adventures, Crossed Trails, Devil?s Noose, River Perils, Unseen Hands, Fatal Fangs, Flaming Waters, Angry Gods, Doom?... more »
A superb old, historic Tarzan serial
Patrick W. Crabtree | Lucasville, OH USA | 06/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I suspect that the title of this production, "The New Adventures of Tarzan," has been confusing to some folks since it was only "new" in 1935 when Edgar Rice Burroughs himself produced it!
What we have here is an old "cliffhanger" of twelve episodes which were originally shown at theaters, one week at a time, to run alongside main feature films. The idea was to keep you "hanging" so you'd come back the next week to see what happened -- someone was always about to be heinously knocked off at the end of each episode, (except for in the last one).
The story is this: Tarzan and his companions, headed by Major Martling, go head-to-head in the Guatemalan jungle against the nefarious P.B. Raglan in an effort to secure "The Green Goddess," a priceless ancient artifact which also contains the formula for a super-explosive. Of course, the Green Goddess is in the hands of first one and then another of the two factions and it becomes clear that only Tarzan can finalize its possession for the good guys. There is also a sub-plot of Tarzan going to the region for the priority purpose of rescuing his old friend, d'Arnot.
This film was actually shot on location, for the most part, in Guatemala where the action is supposed to have taken place so that is a big plus of this film. Herman Brix, a 1928 Olympic shot-putter, plays Tarzan but he later changed his name to Bruce Bennett and went on play roles in films like "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (1948) and, "Sahara" (1943). His "Tarzan yell" sounds a great deal like Minnie Pearl's "How-deeee!!!" but, other than that, he makes for a pretty believable jungle hero.
The episodes of the serial are entitled:
1. New Adventures
2. Crossed Trails
3. Devil's Noose
4. River Perils
5. Unseen Hands
6. Fatal Fangs
7. Flaming Waters
8. Angry Gods
9. Doom's Brink
10. Secret Signals
11. Death's Fireworks
12. Operator No. 17
This particular print has been digitally re-mastered and marketed by the Columbia River Film Group. Of course, the film is shot in black and white, full-screen, and runs for a total of FOUR HOURS! It's all on a single DVD and, having owned this serial issued by a couple of different distributors, this particular one is as good as it gets, a fairly clear print with decent sound. The film is in the public domain so it can be copied and sold by anyone and inferior copies abound.
This serial was later heavily edited to produce the film, "Tarzan and the Green Goddess" (1938), which only runs for a total of 90 minutes. The serial version is by far the superior choice of the two productions if you are really into the older black and white adventure films.
Highly recommended to appropriate audiences."
The Only Edgar Rice Burrroughs TARZAN Talkie
R. P. Glass | Eugene, OR USA | 12/29/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have read all of the Burroughs Tarzan books. As much as I've enjoyed the various film incarnations of the character from the '40's through the '60's, none of them were as close to the character as written as is Herman Brix in this serial. Brix was chosen by Tarzan's creator ERB himself. The film was produced under ERB, Inc auspices. As such, this 1935 serial closely conforms to the novels in structure: back and forth between competing expeditions at cross purposes, a lost city, death traps, coincidences, and a hurricane at sea.
I have sought out THE NEW ADVENTURES OF TARZAN for many years. I viewed it first as a 2 cassette VHS set. I graduated to the 2003 2-disk DVD from Best of Cliff Hanger Serials then to the 1-disk 2005 edition from Alpha Home Entertainment. Each time I was disappointed in the muddiness or flaring of the prints. When I saw that the Pop Flix Family edition was "Digitally Re-mastered/Sound Enhanced" for such a reasonable price, I could not resist buying yet another release of this serial classic. This is the best rendition of this film that I've seen to date.
CAVEAT: Although this print has been re-mastered, it is not fully restored. There are still scratches, less than a minute that repeats itself in Chapter 3, and some clipped sound towards the end. However this is the first print consistently viewable throughout so that one can actually focus on the story.
A ragged French aviator comes to Africa to find Tarzan. He was on a flight with Tarzan's great friend D'arnot in Guatemala when their plane goes down in a storm. The aviator parachutes only to watch D'arnot ride the plane down only to be captured by strange savages. The aviator goes into the jungle with George [a flunky comic relief - Lewis Sterling] in search of Tarzan.
The aviator is mauled by a lion which is then killed by Tarzan. The aviator dies in Tarzan's arms, but not before he tells Tarzan of D'arnot's plight.
Tarzan joins the Martling Expedition already headed for Guatemala in search of the lost city. Martling [Frank Baker] has a notebook containing both directions to the city and instructions on opening a goddess statue full of jewels and the formula for a great explosive [?]. Countering the Martling Expedition is Raglin [Don Castello], an adventurer in the pay of foreign powers, out to steal the goddess for his masters. Also against Raglin is the mysterious Ula Vale [Ula Holt] who eventually joins with Tarzan and Maitling. . [Ula Holt looks very much like a heroine from a J. Allen St. John illustration from the Tarzan novels especially when racing to save Tarzan from the alligators while he's dazed from falling over a huge waterfall.]
There are ambushes at sea both going to and leaving from Guatemala. There are death traps going to and escaping from the lost city. While trekking across Guatemala Raglin carries the heavy goddess. He can't open it without the book. He never has both the goddess and the book at the same time. Tarzan is thought dead several times. He battles multiple foes [up to hundreds in the lost city] with apparent ease. He never stops or considers his own life over others. He is equally at ease in town or on ship as he is in the jungle. This is true to the Tarzan on the page.
Considering the hardships of shooting with sound on location in the jungle, it is remarkable how well this serial matches the spirit of the novels.
MINOR GRIPES: The comic relief is a tat too feckless. N'kima is a chimp rather than a monkey [but the traditional cinema sidekick]. The queen of the lost city is the frumpiest I've ever seen. The young love interest [Martling's daughter & her fiancé] leaves as soon as they can since they have little to do other than to be put into peril. How did an African lion end up in a lost city in Guatemala? The last chapter ends too abruptly as if the serial were originally planned for 15 chapters and cut to 12 due to funding. But on the whole, THE NEW ADVENTURES OF TARZAN should please both devotees of the original novels as well as fans of b&w serials of the mid 20th century.
This version is from 2006. There is a 4-disk version from 2007 also offered from Amazon in the $20 rather than $6 range. There have been no reviews as to its content; but unless it is a pristine print with lots of bonus features, I would say that this 1-disk 2006 edition is the version for the curious to buy. As flawed as it may be, THE NEW ADVENTURES OF TARZAN is a must for the collection of any Edgar Rice Burroughs TARZAN aficionado.