Click for full size
2. Production Notes
4. ERB: Film Producer
5. Memorabilia Gallery
6. Movie Posters, Reviews and Synopses
7. Photo Gallery: Herman Brix aka Bruce Bennett
8. Mini Bios: Herman Brix aka Bruce Bennett
NEW ADVENTURES OF TARZANTarzan films were major money earners in the world market in the thirties, with as much as 75 per cent of the total gross from foreign boxoffice. In fact, in many African and Asian countries their premiers were black-tie affairs. In 1934, to cash in on this popularity and the considerable profits to be made in production and distribution, Burroughs teamed with George W. Stout, Ben S. Cohen and Lee Ashton Dearholt to form a film company to promote ERB's works. Their first Tarzan film was based on an original story outlined by Burroughs called Tarzan and the Green Goddess. For the first time ERB had some control over how his hero would be portrayed on the screen. The actor he selected to play Tarzan was American Olympic athlete Herman Brix who had been MGM's second choice for Tarzan the Apeman. Brix, as well as being a silver medal winner in the 1928 Olympics, was a former University of Washington football and track star.
Looking to achieve authenticity, Dearholt suggested that the film be done on location in Guatemala. The venture ran into many problems, before, during and after production: financing, storms, accidents, diseases, rugged remote locations, technical difficulties, poor reviews, the Dearholt and Burroughs divorces, and MGM's campaign to keep the film from getting good bookings. Despite all the difficulties, Dearholt brought back a considerable amount of footage which was later released in a variety of serials and features, and, thanks to foreign markets, the venture eventually made money.
NEW ADVENTURES OF TARZAN
TRIVIA: Brix won a silver medal in the 1928 Olympics for the shot put.
TRIVIA: Brix's Tarzan was one of the few times that ERB's apeman was accurately depicted in films: a mannered, cultured, soft-spoken, well-educated English lord who spoke several languages.
TRIVIA: Tarzan's chimp companion was called Nkima -- not Cheetah, the name used in the MGM films. Nikima was the name of the apeman's monkey sidekick in ERB's later Tarzan novels.
TRIVIA: The chimpanzee, Jiggs, was paid $2000 for the role of Nkima.
TRIVIA: "Adventures" was offered to distributors in a variety of formats: a complete seven-reel, 75-minute feature ~ a seven-reel feature followed by 11 episodes ~ a 12-chapter serial ~ and later, as Tarzan and the Green Goddess, a 72-minute feature film edited from the last 10 chapters of the serial with added new footage.
TRIVIA: This is Holt’s only known film role. She was discovered by, and soon married, director Dearholt. In the original version, the character was to be revealed as government agent Operator 17, but this was changed during production.
TRIVIA: During the film's production, Dearholt married the film's lead lady, Ula Holt and ERB divorced his first wife to marry Dearholt's ex, Florence.
TRIVIA: The unique Brix jungle yell was "Mmmmmmmm-annnn-gannnn-eeeeee."
TRIVIA: Brix did his own stunts, resulting in mulitple injuries and tropical fever and chronic exhaustion.
TRIVIA: Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, personally requested prints of many of the Tarzan movies for private showings.
TRIVIA: Brix/Bennett's wife was: Jeanette Cannon (January 1933 - ?). They had two children.
TRIVIA: D'Arnot's plane is a two-seater, but both Bouchart and David Brent are supposed to have been with him in it on the flight when it crashed.
TRIVIA: This film supposedly takes place in Guatemala, Central America, yet footage of African animals such as rhinos and giraffes is shown.
TRIVIA: Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. had suggested Herman Brix to MGM to play Tarzan, but Brix broke his shoulder filming Touchdown for Paramount. Because his recovery period was uncertain, MGM cast Johnny Weissmuller in Tarzan the Ape Man instead.
TRIVIA: Sources disagree about Burroughs’ involvement with Brix’s casting. Some stated that Brix was hand picked for this serial by Burroughs, while others state that it was Dearholt who cast Brix and he only briefly met Burroughs afterwards for a handshake and some photographs.
TRIVIA: Brix was never paid for his work on this film.
TRIVIA: According to the pressbook, Dearholt had to take the role of P.B. Raglan, a mercenary villain sent to steal the valuable Green Goddess, at the last minute after the original actor, Don Castello, became ill. In reality, “Don Costello” was merely a pseudonym chosen by Dearholt, who had previously starred himself in several silent films of his own making, and planned all along to do so here.
TRIVIA: Joan Lowell (1902-1967), film actress, author, and film director starred in Adventure Girl (1934), a film loosely based on her fictionalized autobiography, Cradle of the Deep. Lowell, a self-styled adventuress, retold her "true" adventures in the jungles of Guatemala. The native, Princess Maya, in the film was played by Ula Holt. An interesting scene in the film was a very long wrestling match between the two women. A year later Ula co-starred with Herman Brix in The New Adventures of Tarzan (1935). Some of the film's jungle footage was actually edited into the Tarzan film. Read the Film Synopsis in ERBzine 0585
IMDB TRIVIA: 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.
IMDB TRIVIA: When this movie was released, Ashton Dearholt claimed he had to take the place of an actor named Don Costello, who had been hired to play the evil Raglan, after he had come down with a tropical illness. Not true - Don Costello did not exist, he was just a name Dearholt invented.
IMDB TRIVIA: Urban legend has it that the sound quality was so poor that the actors had to be re-dubbed for theatrical release or TV. In fact, the only re-dubbing done was on the 59-minute British reissue print of the feature version, for reasons unknown. A disclaimer was inserted into the credits of this version claiming that the soundtrack had been affected by "variable atmospheric conditions" in 1935 Guatemala, where parts of the serial were shot. In fact, the bad soundtrack was the result of the cheap equipment used on the British re-dub - (see The New Adventures of Tarzan (1935/II)). No such disclaimer ever appeared on the serial release prints' original titles, and the originally-recorded 1935 soundtrack is being heard there as well as in the second feature version Tarzan and the Green Goddess (1938).
Excerpts from ERBzine 0287: ERB FILM PRODUCER
The ERB Online Biography
ERB, Dearholt and two other investors, formed Burroughs-Tarzan Enterprises to produce Tarzan pictures. Their office was located at 8476 Sunset Boulevard. Plans were made to film a Tarzan movie in Guatemala. In October, Olympic athlete Herman Brix was chosen to play Tarzan in Guatemala. Ed refused to write a movie tie-in novel, preferring to leave the promotion to a special Whitman Big Little Book, a Tarzan Clan campaign, and Signal Oil. Dearholt ran into casting problems but the Tarzan film expedition sailed for Guatemala in November. In December, the Dearholt expedition, aboard the liner Seattle, landed on the Guatemala coast in a storm which caused incredible difficulties. The December 11 issue of Variety reported that the Guatemala Tarzan film would be called Tarzan and the Green Goddess. Titles later considered included The New Adventures of Tarzan and Tarzan's 1935 Adventures.
On January 7 ERB was reported to be enthusiastic over the early Guatemala rushes, on what was to be a 12-part Tarzan serial but on March 5 he was disappointed over the uncut film from Guatemala.
MOVIE REVIEWS AND SYNOPSES
Much of the following informationon this page has been adapted from the Internet Movie Data Base Site
1. New Adventures of Tarzan (I) (1935 - 265m (12 episodes) - b/w)
...aka Tarzan and the Lost Goddess (1935)
...aka Tarzan in Guatemala (1935)
PLOT: The Green Goddess is a totem worshiped by the primitive natives
of a lost city deep in the
jungles of Guatemala. It contains both a fortune in jewels and an ancient formula for a super-explosive
which could threaten world safety in the wrong hands. From Africa, Major Martling and Ula Vale
launch separate expeditions to find the Goddess and place its secrets in safe hands. Ula's fiance died in
an earlier attempt at the same goal and she has taken up the trail in his memory against the advice of
her lawyer, Hiram Powers, who covets the Goddess for himself and sends Raglan, a mercenary, to get
it for him. Aboard their ship to Guatemala is Lord Greystoke - aka Tarzan - on a mission to find his old
friend, d'Arnot, whose plane crashed in the vicinity of the same lost city. Tarzan joins forces with
Martling, and they reach the lost city in time to save d'Arnot, but lose the Goddess to Raglan. Ula joins
Tarzan and Martling in pursuit of Raglan, whence they must contend with the perils of the jungle,
Raglan's henchmen, and a party of primitives from the lost city sent to retrieve the Goddess...
PLOT: Most prior screen incarnations of Edgar Rice Burroughs' legendary
jungle hero were not even
close to Burroughs' character. The Tarzan of the books grew up in the jungle, yes, but returned to
England and was educated at Oxford before returning again to his jungle home. He was nobility even,
the son of Lord and Lady Greystoke, and inherited his father's title. He was an intelligent, literate,
culturally-aware man. Yet the cinematic version of Tarzan, up to that time, was an illiterate animal-like
hermit whose first contact with civilization was his soon-to-be-girlfriend Jane. Burroughs was incensed
at this portrayal, and that motivated him to produce his own Tarzan production more in line with his
original vision of the character, namely a serial entitled The New Adventures of Tarzan. The serial
was later edited into two (short) feature films released in the following years. The first film bore the
same title, and the second was called Tarzan and the Green Goddess.
This first half of the 1935 serial relates several characters' efforts
to find the green goddess, a valuable
artifact in the possession of a tribe of natives in Guatemala. Burroughs and the filmmakers that worked
with him on this weren't quite successful in bringing the real Tarzan to cinematic life. It's easy to see
how The New Adventures of Tarzan's story could be a gripping, rip-roaring novel -- but it's
somehow unengaging as a film. The plot is solid, but it's hard to tell, so thoroughly is it camouflaged by
deplorable acting and poor quality sound. (The opening credits even contain an apology for the bad
soundtrack.) It's partially redeemed by some gripping suspense scenes and intriguing visuals. But as a
whole, it's uninvolving and forgettable.
The Green Goddess is a totem worshiped by the primitive natives of a lost
city deep in the
jungles of Guatemala, which contains both a fortune in jewels and an ancient formula for a
super-explosive which could threaten the world in the wrong hands. From Africa, Major Martling
launches an expedition to find the Goddess and place its secret in safe hands. So does Ula Vale, whose
fiance died attempting a similar expe- dition, despite the warnings of her lawyer Hiram Powers, who
recretly wants the Goddess' contents for himself and has dispatched Raglan, a mercenary, to get it for
him. Aboard ship to Guatemala, they meet Lord Greystoke - aka Tarzan - on his way to the same
locale to find his old friend d'Arnot, whose plane reportedly crashed near the lost city. On reaching
Guatemala, Tarzan, the Martling party and Ula learn of Raglan's devilish mission and that he has a
good head start on them...
This is the second of two films edited from the 1935 serial, The New Adventures
Tarzan, the first bearing the same name. Herman Brix (also known as Bruce Bennett) plays the lead
role, portraying him as the intelligent, literate English Lord he was in the books. Not surprisingly, this is
very much like the first film -- a decent if confusing plot, terrible acting, rousing action, and an
unbearable soundtrack. It's less innovative than the first film, however, and the sped-up fight scenes
aren't as thrilling as they were at the time. Brix's Tarzan yell remains the most disconcerting of them
HERMAN BRIX aka BRUCE BENNETT
Herman Brix aka Bruce Bennett Mini Bio from IMDB by Ed StephanBirth name: Herman Brix
Birth: 19 May 1906, Tacoma, Washington, USA
Herman Brix was a star shot-putter in the 1928 Olympics. After nearly getting the lead in MGM's Tarzan the Ape Man (1932), he was picked by Edgar Rice Burroughs for his own production of New Adventures of Tarzan, The (1935/I), the only one between the silents and the 1960s to present the character accurately, as a sophisticated, polyglot English nobleman. Metro blocked "Adventures" out of most theaters, but it was very popular in the foreign markets, resulting in the Tarzan and the Green Goddess (1938) sequel made essentially of reworked footage from the earlier movie. After "Adventures" he made a number of serials for Republic, including a Tarzan-like Kioga in Hawk of the Wilderness (1938). After this he dropped out for a few years, took acting lessons, and changed his name to Bruce Bennett, dropping his Tarzan and athlete connections. He made many movies after that, gaining fame as a leading man in many Warners products. In 1960 he retired from movie making and went into business, becoming sales manager of a multimillion dollar vending machine company. In 1967 he returned to acting in TV guest appearances.
Bruce Bennett Bio Excerpt from Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia:
Actor. (b. May 19, 1906, Tacoma, Wash., as Herman Brix.) Was there an athlete in the 1932 Olympics who didn't play Tarzan? Champion shot-putter Herman Brix, a tall, superbly muscled youth with ruggedly handsome features and a low growl of a voice, was handpicked by the Ape Man's creator, Edgar Rice Burroughs, to star in the 1935 Burroughs-financed serial, The New Adventures of Tarzan following in the footsteps of fellow Olympic stars Johnny Weissmuller and Buster Crabbe. (He'd previously played bits in such films as 1934's Riptide and Student Tour. The Brix vehicle, shot on location in the wilds of Guatemala, was more faithful to Burroughs' character than the Weissmuller films, but its chances were sabotaged by MGM-dashing Brix's hopes for stardom. He toiled in other serials-including Shadow of Chinatown (1936), Hawk of the Wilderness, The Lone Ranger, The Fighting Devil Dogs (all 1938), and Daredevils of the Red Circle (1939)-and a series of cheap adventure flicks for producer Sam Katzman before signing with Columbia in 1940. Trying to leave his athletic reputation behind, he changed his name to Bruce Bennett, and learned his chosen craft from the ground up, apprenticing in bit parts in Three Stooges shorts, B Westerns, and low-budget crime films, even starring in some, such as The Secret Seven (1940) and Underground Agent (1942). As the years passed, Bennett got better and so did the pictures: The Man With Nine Lives, Before I Hang (both 1940), The More the Merrier and Sahara (both 1943). Bennett got his best breaks at Warner Bros. (though mainly in meaty supporting roles) in such films as Mildred Pierce (1945), A Stolen Life (1946), The Man I Love (1947, a decent leading role), Nora Prentiss, Dark Passage (both 1947), Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948, playing the ill-fated American who attempts to join Humphrey Bogart's expedition for gold), Silver River (1948), and Task Force (1949), among others. Angels in the Outfield (1951), Sudden Fear (1952), Dream Wife (1953), Strategic Air Command (1955), and Love Me Tender (1956) showed an aging Bennett in a variety of character parts. By the time he made the ultra-cheap genre films The Alligator People (1959) and The Fiend of Dope Island (1961), though, he recognized that he'd come full circle and, except for an occasional TV appearance (and a role in the legendary, unreleased Deadhead Miles made in 1972), retired from acting.
CURIOUS MERCHANDISING DEPARTMENT
THE NEW ADVENTURES OF TARZAN with Herman Brix as Tarzan
12 INDIVIDUAL VIDEOS FROM VIDEOZONE INC. NY. USA ©2000
Each chapter on a separate tape with a different Tarzan actor photo on each cover.
TZ-01 THE NEW ADVENTURE Lex Barker
TZ-O2 CROSSED TRAILS Jock Mahoney
TZ-03 DEVIL'S NOOSE Herman Brix
TZ-04 RIVER PERILS Denny Miller
TZ-05 UNSEEN HANDS Herman Brix
TZ-06 FATAL FANGS Gordon Scott
TZ-07 FLAMING WATERS Buster Crabbe
TZ-08 ANGRY GODS Lex Barker
TZ-09 DOOM'S BRINK Denny Miller
TZ-10 SECRET SIGNALS Buster Crabbe
TZ-11 DEATH'S FIREWORKS Herman Brix
TZ-12 OPERATOR 17 Denny Miller
Herman Brix (Bruce Bennett) with Ashton Dearholt and Lewis Sargent in The New Adventures of Tarzan (1935)
Click for full sizes
Thanks to Rob Donkers for the Excellent Colourizations
Click for full-size promo collages
Posters, Production Notes, Reviews, Bios, Photos
Ads, Stills, Press Book, Summary, Credits, Links
Lobby Cards, Ads & Synopses Episodes 1-6
Lobby Cards, Ads & Synopses Episodes 6-12
Lobby Card Display I
Lobby Card Display II
Lobby Card Display III
Lobby Card Display IV
The Fantastic Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Companion Sites Created by Bill Hillman
John Carter Film
ERB, Inc. Corporate Site