Cast & Crew
Major Francis Martling, preparing for a Guatemalan expedition to search for the Dead City, agrees to take Tarzan with him. Tarzan was first found by aviator Paul D'Arnot, whose plane later crashed in Guatemala. At the same time, Ula Vale plans to travel to Guatemala to search for the treasure, the Green Goddess. In pursuit of Ula is Raglan, who decides to follow Martling, believing Martling will lead him to the Dead City. After Raglan steals Martling's notebook, Martling, his daughter Alice, her fiancée Gordon Hamilton, George, Tarzan and his pet chimp Nkima, pursue him. After Raglan throws Ula into a waterfall, Tarzan rescues her and she explains that she was the fiancée of David Brett, who was killed in D'Arnot's plane crash. Raglan then kills a native, who, in retaliation, take the Martling's group prisoners. Tarzan, who was not captured, rescues Martling's group and later, as Raglan locates the Dead City, Tarzan shows Martling's expedition a secret entrance to the city. The four-hundred year-old Spanish City, built atop Mayan ruins, is inhabited by the group of natives who took Martling's group hostage, along with D'Arnot, who has been held captive since his accident. As Queen Kiapia prepares to offer the hostages as a sacrifice, Raglan steals the Green Goddess, a stone obelisk. Infuriated, the natives capture Raglan, but they are massacred with a machine gun by George. Ula catches up to Martling's group and agrees to share the treasure of the Green Goddess, which, when opened spills countless diamonds.
Edwin H. Blum
Earl N. Crain
Lyle E. Willey And Associates
Harold R. Minter
Charles F. Royal
Charles F. Royal
Ernest F. Smith
The original story for this serial featured munitions runners, Alice and Gordon mistaken for spies and pursued by the Guatemalan police, and Ula Vale as a mysterious figure revealed in the final episode to be an undercover government operative. The script was rewritten during production and these elements dropped. However, the original treatment was used for the pressbook synopsis and the original chapter titles were retained despite lacking relevance any longer (e.g. "Operative 17" as the final chapter). Virtually all Tarzan/serial film "historians" continue to refer to the pressbook synopsis, also, instead of watching the serial, and thus fail to accurately present the story that was finally filmed. Caveat emptor.
Tarzan's chimpanzee is called "Nkima" (not "Cheetah"), true to the Edgar Rice Burroughs books.
This serial was simultaneously released in a 70-minute feature version of the same title (New Adventures of Tarzan, The (1935/II)), composed of the 65-minute first episode, the cliffhanger resolution from the start of Chapter 2, and about a minute of original footage to bring the story to a conclusion. In 1938, material from the remaining 10 chapters was edited into another 70-minute feature released as Tarzan and the Green Goddess (1938).
Immediately after the opening title card, a written prologue reads: "The Production of the film was carried out under conditions of extreme difficulty and hardship involving personal danger to the actors and technicians, to whom the producers owe a debt of gratitude. The sound recording was occasionally interfered with by the extremely variable atmospheric conditions and your kind indulgence is craved in this direction." In June of 1938, a new feature was edited from the last ten chapters of the serial together with some previously unused footage, entitled Tarzan and the Green Goddess (see below).