All Classic Video - The New Adventures of Tarzan Chapter 12: Operator No. 17 (1935) - Classic Serial
The New Adventures of Tarzan Chapter 12: Operator No. 17 (1935) - Classic Serial
The New Adventures of Tarzan is a 1935 American film serial in 12 chapters starring Herman Brix. The serial is a more authentic version of the character than most other adaptations, with Tarzan as a cultured and well educated gentleman as in the original Edgar Rice Burroughs novels. It was filmed during the same period as the Johnny Weissmuller/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Tarzan films. Film exhibitors had the choice of selecting the serial or the episodes edited into two separate films, The New Adventures of Tarzan and Tarzan and the Green Goddess.
The serial was filmed in Guatemala, and Tarzan was played by Herman Brix (known post-war as Bruce Bennett). The final screenplay was credited to Charles F. Royal, and from Episode 6 onward, also Basil Dickey. It was produced by Ashton Dearholt, Bennett Cohen and George W. Stout under the corporate name of "Burroughs-Tarzan Enterprises, Inc." (which also distributed) and was directed by Edward Kull and Wilbur F. McGaugh.
Several plot elements bring the characters together in search (and pursuit) of the Guatemalan idol known as The Green Goddess: Tarzan's friend D'Arnot has crash landed in the region and is in the hands of a lost tribe of jungle natives. Major Martling is leading an expedition to find the fabled artefact for a powerful explosives formula hidden within it. Ula Vale's fiancé died in an earlier expedition to rescue the artefact for its archaeological benefit and so she starts one of her own in his honour. Raglan has been sent by Hiram Powers, Ula's lawyer, to steal the valuable idol for himself - in addition to containing the explosives formula, it also holds a fortune in jewels.Tarzan, Ula and Major Martling find the idol and rescue D'Arnot from the natives that worship it in the 70-minute-long first episode. However, Raglan escapes with the Green Goddess and heads through the jungle for the coast. Tarzan and the others pursue him across the jungle, encountering many perils, including recapture by the natives to whom the idol belonged. The adventures end out at sea where, during a hurricane, they are able to permanently secure the idol while Raglan is killed by another of Powers' agents because of his failures. The murderer perishes when the ship sinks. Returning to Greystoke Manor in England with Tarzan, Ula consigns the explosives formula to fire in the final episode, where she and Tarzan also recount several adventures from the first part of the serial to an assembled party of friends and colleagues.
Brix performed his own stunts in the serial, including swinging from real jungle vines, but this presented further problems. Despite testing a vine for safety beforehand with a 200 lb weight, when Brix tried himself, with a run up, he over shot the pool of water he was meant to land in. "I still have the scars from that fall," he told the Monitor. The scene where Brix bursts the ropes binding him is real.