The Son of Tarzan (1920) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Son of Tarzan (1920)

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Movie Info

Future Western hero Jack Hoxie was briefly mentioned as the star of this 15 chapter jungle melodrama produced by the National Film Corp.; in the end, the title role went to Kamuela C. Searle. But more casting difficulties remained: The owner of National, R.E. Frey, pushed his wife, Lucille Rubey, for the female lead, a girl held captive by Arab slavers, but director Harry J. Revier wanted instead Kathleen May. For unknown reasons, May also failed to get the part, which was eventually played by Manilla Martan. Tragedy struck the company during the filming of the final episode, "An Amazing Denouement," when Searle was trampled to death by Tantor, the elephant. The serial was finished with the use of a double. Based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' story, The Son of Tarzan told of how Tarzan's son Jack (Gordon Griffith, later Searle) is kidnapped by Ivan Paulovitch (Eugene Burr) and brought from England to Africa. Jack manages to escape with the help of Akut, the ape. He encounters lovely Meriem (Mae Giraci, then Martan), a white girl kept in slavery by evil Arabs. They escape and grow up together in the jungle, Jack assuming the name Korak. Meriem turns out to be an heiress, and it takes the combined effort of Korak and Tarzan (P. Dempsey Tabler) to keep her safe from the nasty Paulovitch. Tabler, an elderly British actor, may in retrospect seem an odd choice to play Tarzan, but this serial was actually rather faithful to Rice Burroughs' original depiction of Tarzan as an English gentleman. Having played Jane/Lady Greystoke in The Revenge of Tarzan (1920), Karla Schramm briefly re-created the role in this serial, apparently the Los Angeles-born starlet's final film.

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