Celebrating the Tarzan Film Centennial #69
The 15-chapter 1920 National Film Corporation serial “The
Son of Tarzan” is one of the most faithful screen adaptations of a Tarzan
novel, probably due to author Edgar Rice Burroughs’ involvement in the
production. The serial is currently available on DVD.
A brief synopsis (continued):
Chapter 6: “The Killer’s Mate”
The villainous Paulovich (Eugene Burr) and Malbihn
(Ray Thompson) and the Sheik (Frank Merrill) converge on the native village
of Kovudoo, hoping to steal the tribe’s ivory. Korak (Kamuela Searle) arrives,
too, hoping to filch some jewelry as a gift for Meriem (Manilla Martan).
Korak sees Paulovich and attacks him, but both are captured by the Sheik
and his men . . .
Chapter 7: “The Quest of the Killer”
In Korak’s absence, Akut reunites with his former
ape tribe, whose leader takes a shine to Meriem. The Sheik decides to ransom
Korak from his father, Tarzan (P. Dempsey Tabler), and dispatches Paulovich
to England to arrange the payment.
Meanwhile, Akut frees Korak, who battles the apes’
monarch, and wins Meriem’s hand and the kingship of the apes. Korak presents
her with the necklace he took from the native village, and they kiss for
the first time. The moment is broken up by the attack of the Sheik’s men,
and Korak is speared in the back . . .
Chapter 8: “The Coming of Tarzan”
The Sheik’s men take Meriem, leaving Korak for dead.
In England, Paulovich convinces Jane (Karla Schramm) to bring the ransom
to Africa. Tarzan uncovers the plot and attacks Paulovich, who escapes
and boards the ship to Africa with Jane. Recuperated from his spear wound,
Korak tries to rescue Meriem from the Sheik’s village—and is shot out of
a tree and left for dead (again) . . .
Chapter 9: “The Kiss of the Beast”
The Swedes recover the wounded Korak and return to
their camp to hold him for ransom (or force him to give up Meriem for her
ransom). In England, Tarzan finds a clue to Jane and Paulovich’s mission,
and sets out after them. Jane and Paulovich are captured by the Sheik;
after Korak finally rescues Meriem, she tells him of another female captive
in the village. Korak’s attempt to retrieve Jane ends with him trapped
in a pit with a hungry lion . . .
Chapter 10: “Tarzan Takes the Trail”
While Korak battles his way out of the lion pit, Tarzan
arrives to rescue Jane, and the Swedes fight over Meriem (with still more
escapes and recaptures in the proceedings) . . .
Chapter 11: “Ashes of Love”
Tarzan and Jane rescue Meriem from the Swedes and
take the girl back to their ranch, where she is wooed by a British cad,
the “Honorable” Morrison Baynes. Korak, believing Meriem dead, is despondent
. . .