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Issue 0594
The ERB C.H.A.S.E.R. Silver Screen Encyclopedia
Serials were a film genre that told their story in an episodic format. Each week, audience members would go to the theater to watch the latest episode in a film ranging from twelve to fifteen chapters. Each chapter ended with the hero facing certain death, so that you had to back the following week to see what happened. Serials began in 1912, where they helped to establish the fledgling motion picture business, and ended in 1956, when TV became the dominant vehicle for weekly doses of adventure.
Todd Gault

Films based on the characters of Edgar Rice Burroughs set many landmarks in American cinematic history. Tarzan of the Apes in 1918 was one of the first films to gross over one million dollars. Tarzan went on to become one of the most-filmed fictional character in the history of film. The 1929 Tarzan the Tiger serial was one of the first serials to be filmed as a talkie. This opened the floodgates to a torrent jungle and ape-man serials  filmed with sound: King of the Congo ~ Jungle Mystery ~ Lost Jungle ~ Darkest Africa ~ Jungle Jim ~ Jungle Menace ~ Tim Tyler's Luck ~ Hawk of the Wilderness ~ Call of the Savage ~ Jungle Girl ~ Perils of Nyoka ~ The Phantom ~ Tiger Woman ~ Jungle Queen ~ Jungle Raiders ~ Lost City of the Jungle ~ Congo Bill ~ King of the Congo ~ Adventures of Captain Africa ~ Panther Girl of the Congo.

We present here capsules of some of the serials most closely related to ERB's jungle.

Otis Adelbert Kline's
Expanded version of material presented in OAK IV

Otis Adelbert Kline (Film Writer Filmography)
Call of the Savage (1935) (Based on the Otis Adelbert Kline novel: Jan of the Jungle)
 ... aka Savage Fury (1935) (USA: recut version)
(A recut, reissued version was released as Savage Fury in 1956)
Directed by Lew Landers
Writing credits: Basil Dickey, Nate Gatzert, and George H. Plympton
            Based on the novel, Jan of the Jungle by Otis Adelbert Kline
Genre: Jungle Adventure Serial
Tagline: Animals battling each other for jungle supremacy! Attacking man for survival!
Runtime: USA (13 episodes) ~ Black and White

Noah Beery Jr. ~ Jan
Dorothy Short ~ Mona Andrews
Harry Woods ~ Borno
Bryant Washburn ~ Dr. Harry Trevor
Walter Miller ~ Dr. Frank Bracken
Fred MacKaye ~ Dr. Charles Phillips
Russ Powell ~ Andrews
John Davidson ~ Prince Samu
Eddie Kane ~ Gen. Tichak
Stanley Andrews ~ Emperor Mena
J. Frank Glendon ~
Viva Tattersall ~ Georgia Trevor
Gwendolyn Logan ~ Mrs. Henry Andrews
William Desmond  ~ Allen
Grace Cunard ~ Mrs. Camerford Amster
H. Burroughs ~
Dickie Jones ~  Jan Trevor as a Boy
Produced by Carl Laemmle 
     (Associate Producer: Henry MacRae)
Original music: David Broekman ~ David Klatzkin ~
        Sam Perry ~ Heinz Roemheld
Cinematography: Richard Fryer & William A. Sickner
Film Editing: Irving Applebaum ~ Saul A. Goodkind Alvin Todd ~ Edward Todd
Production Management: Ansel Friedberger
Plot Outline

Two scientific teams go up against each other in a race to find a secret formula in the African jungle. The search leads them to the lost city of Mu where they face a ruled by a bad-guy priest who owns a death-ray. The scientists have to overcome this mad priest and his dungeons of fire and dangerous electrical rays. 

Noah Beery, Jr. played Jan the feral orphan raised by monkeys. Jan, along with his faithful chimpanzee companion "Chicma," joined in the quest for the lost kingdom of Mu. Assisted by Princess Mona (Dorothy Short) they overcome the evil scientists (Walter Miller, Frederic Mackaye), the priest, and many cliffhanging pitfalls, including a mechanized room with a ceiling full of spikes heading straight for the good guys. 

The serial was cut down for a feature film-length version called Savage Fury


Dr. Harry Trevor, Dr. Frank Bracken, and Dr. Charles Phillips are sent into the jungles of Africa to search for a formula that will cure infantile paralysis. Dr. Trevor is accompanied by his wife, Georgia, and their small son Jan.  Although Dr. Trevor's intention is purely altruistic, the motives of his associates are purely selfish; they want the formula only for the money it will bring them.

When Dr. Trevor discovers the formula, Bracken and Phillips conspire to steal it. But Trevor has grown wary of his two "friends."  He writes half the formula on a piece of parchment and the other half on a flexible metal band which he places on the wrist of young Jan.  One day, the boy and his chimpanzee playmate  Chicma wander into the post menagerie among some lions. Georgia rushes in in an attempt to protect her son, but a lion leaps upon her and kills her. Trevor tries to rescue his wife, bu is knocked unconscious. In the confusion, Jan i s led into the jungle by Chicma, as a fire breaks out and the entire post is destroyed. Bracken and Phillips, believing that everyone else is dead, leave Africa and head back to the U.S.A. 

Fifteen years later, Bracken and PHillips return to Africa and discover Trevor there, his memory partially gone. They find the parchment half of the formula in Trevor's possession and are able to determine that Jan has the other half. Meanwhile, Mona Andrews, the daughter of a prominent trader,  is also en route to Africa to visit her father's trading post. When her boat stops at a port, two prisoners who have been captured in he jungle are brought on board -- a white wild boy and his pet chimpanzee. They are, of course, Jan and Chicma. 

As the boat proceeds on its voyage, a violent storm comes up, and the boat springs a serious leak. Mona, Jan, Chicma, and Borno, another passenger, are thrown overboard. All four cling desperately to a raft as the ship sinks. The survivors reach shore and Borno introduces himself as a banished member of the lost Kingdom of Mu. By an incredible coincidence, Borno recognizes a small tattoo on Mona's palm and declares that she is a Princess of Mu. 

As the friends wend their way toward the Andrews trading post, they meet with Trevor and are set up by unfriendly natives and vicious animals. Finally, they encounter Bracken and Phillips.  At one point Borno meets Andrews and learns that Mona is not the trader's real daughter, but was found as an infant in front of the post. This confirms the fact that Mona is actually a Princess of Mu. 

Borno convinces the entire group, including Trevor and Andrews, to return to Mu with him. But as they proceed they are followed and constantly harassed by a safari led by Bracken and Phillips, who are determined to seize the formula. When they arrive at Mu, they are briefly interrupted by a dissident faction within the kingdom led by Prince Samu, who is trying to wrest control from the benevolent emperor. Bracken and Phillips arrive on he scene and are quickly captured.

Prince Samu's schemes are dashed when Borno gains an audience with the emperor and convinces him that Mona is his long-lost daughter. The formula is restored to Trevor, and Andrews is richly rewarded for caring for Mona. Bracken and Phillips are set free, but as they return to the jungle they are killed by lightning. Mona asks that Jan stay with her, and the emperor gladly agrees. 


1935 Gene Autry Serial

The Phantom Empire -- Gene Autry's first starring role --  is one of the strangest and most fascinating of the old-time serials. This hybrid musical-Western-science fiction epic combines numerous disparate genres such as that of a singing cowboy western and contact with an underground civilization. For this reason it appeals to many ERB fans who are familiar with the middle earth world of Pellucidar. Gene broadcasts a live radio show from is Radio Ranch -- sort of a dude ranch for kids. The kids, led by Frankie Darro and Betsy Ross King, adopt the name, Junior Thunder Riders, a name inspired by a mysterious band of riders who periodically roar across the range. We learn later that these riders are from the subterranean world of Murania, and its "Scientific City" which has been in existence many thousands of feet below the surface for over 100,000 years. Queen Tika, the leader of Murania, is played by Dorothy Christy. Presumably the Muranians had been forced underground by the ice age. The rich uranium deposits lying under Radio Ranch attract a group of vicious research scientists who plan to seize possession of the ranch. Gene's only hope for saving the ranch from debt is to do fulfill his radio contract by not missing any of the daily afternoon radio shows but this schedule is disrupted by the scientists' nefarious plans to frame him for murder and captures by the Thunder Riders who attempt to keep him prisoner in Murania. Everytime Gene starts to explore the mysteries of Murania he realizes that he must get back to the surface to do his radio show. The radio show scripts call for western songs and typical cowboy adventures which are acted out as if the show were being televised. 
Murania, which relies heavily on the mysterious powers of radium, features many wonderful high tech scientific inventions. We see radium powered ray guns, robots swinging sledgehammers in the furnace room, inhabitants wearing mini-skirts, sandles, robes, mini-skirts, and strange hats, moving sidewalks, vacuum tube elevators, television, tall futuristic towers, a Death Chamber were the queen sentences men to death by electrocution, Gene speaking the language of the dead after being revived in electric reviving chamber, an atom-smashing ray that is capable of disintegrating the surface civilizations. None of this impresses Gene who only wants to be left alone so he can sing and ride the range. 

Gene's sidekicks, Smiley Burnette and William Moore provide the comic relief and give Gene support in doing the radio show and in battling the Muranians. The Junior Thunder Riders with their secret headquarters in the barn give the kids in the audience something to identify with. Frankie has filled the room with broadcasting equipment, television, a telescope, and an array of electronic gizmos. Throughout the series it is the kids who constantly "save the day." When Frankie and Betsy follow Gene into Murania, they too are captured. They in turn are followed by Gene's sidekick, Oscar (Smiley Burnette) who tries to disguise himself as a mechanical robot, but he too is captured when his ploy is discovered. Fortunately, a revolt breaks out in Murania. While rival factions battle each other, Gene and his group make good an escape via an elevator that carries them 20,000 feet to the surface of the earth. Just as Gene and his friends reach safety, the Muranian dissidents turn loose the radium death ray which totally destroys the Muranian empire. 

Phantom Cast and Crew

CHAP. 1 SINGING COWBOY: Professor Beetson and his associates arrive at Gene's Radio Ranch looking for a buried city and a fortune in radium. When Gene helps them look for the secret entrance to Murania located 25,000 feet below Radio Ranch, the Muranian Queen sends her men to kill Gene. 
CHAP. 2 THUNDER RIDERS: Wanting everyone off Radio Ranch so they can investigate in private, Beetson frames Gene for murder. 
CHAP. 3 LIGHTNING CHAMBER: In Murania Lord Argo is planning a revolution while on the surface Gene flees from the Sheriff in a car without brakes. 
CHAP. 4 PHANTOM BRAODCAST: Still fleeing from the Sheriff Gene must make his radio broadcast or lose his contract and the ranch. 
CHAP. 5 BENEATH THE EARTH: Switching clothes with a Muranian, Gene is taken to the underground empire where the Queen sentences him to die. 
CHAP. 6 DISASTER FROM THE SKY: Gene tries to stop the radium bomb the Queen has sent to kill the riders on the surface. 
CHAP. 7 FROM DEATH TO LIFE: Declared dead the Queen sends Gene to the revival chamber so she can learn the name of the traitor that previously released him. 
CHAP. 8 JAWS OF JEOPARDY: Reaching the surface Gene takes Beetson's airplane but the Queen sends a ray that kills the engine and the plane crashes. 
CHAP. 9: PRISONERS OF THE RAY: Frankie and Betsy are taken to Murania. Escaping their captors they throw the switch that will enable Gene to find the secret surface entrance only to be apparently electrocuted. 
CHAP. 10 REBELLION: Gene tells the Queen that Argo is the traitor and learning of this, Argo starts the revolution. 
CHAP. 11 QUEEN IN CHAINS: Argo takes over control Murania and sentences the Queen to death. 
CHAP. 12 END OF MURANIA: Gene saves the Queen and locks Argo and his men in the room with the death ray which gets out of control. With the end of Murania imminent the Queen refuses to leave. Gene and the others reach the surface where Gene must still face the murder charge.


Click for full-size promo collage

Poster ~ Lobby Cards ~ Stills


Directed by Otto Brower and B. Reeves Eason
Writing credits: Hy Freedman (story) ~ Gerald Geraghty (story)
Genre: Musical / Sci-Fi / Western (more)
Tagline: A Nation 20,000 Feet Underground

Gene Autry: Gene Autry
Frankie Darro: Frankie Baxter
Betsy King Ross: Betsy Baxter
Dorothy Christy: Queen Tika
Wheeler Oakman: Argo, Muranian High Chancellor
Charles K. French: Mal
Warner P. Richmond:  Rab (as Warner Richmond)
J. Frank Glendon: Prof. Beetson
Smiley Burnette: Oscar (as Lester Burnette)
Peter Potter: Pete (as William Moore)
Jack Carlyle: Saunders
Ray Corrigan:  Thunder Rider (uncredited)
Original Music: Gene Autry   (songs) ~  Hugo Riesenfeld   (incidental music) ~ Lee Zahler and Henry Hadley   (uncredited)

Also Known As: Gene Autry and the Phantom Empire (1935)
245 min (12 episodes)

New York Times Review ~ March 25, 2008
For indigenous American surrealism, it’s hard to beat the Saturday matinee serials of the 1930s, and I’m not sure that “The Phantom Empire,” a 1935 release from the Poverty Row studio Mascot, can be beat at all. Very likely the world’s first singing-cowboy science-fiction adventure, this 12-episode chapterplay, directed by Otto Brower and Breezy Easton, features Gene Autry in his first starring role — as “Gene Autry,” the proprietor of Radio Ranch. This curious institution seems to be at once a working cattle concern and a full-scale broadcasting business from which Gene and his pals (including his longtime sidekick Smiley Burnett) send out a daily program of country-western songs. 

Life is sweet at Radio Ranch until a band of “renegade scientists” arrives, looking for the massive radium deposits of the secret underground nation Murania, the gateway to which happens to be located in a canyon behind Gene’s ranch. Before too long, Gene and his two l’il pardners (the child actors Frankie Darro and Betsy King Ross) find themselves caught between the rampaging savants and the legions of Wagnerian Thunder Riders (accompanied by appropriate sound effects) and lumbering mechanical men (whimsical robots built for a production number in MGM’s “Dancing Lady” but cut from the final film) sent forth by Murania’s “She”-like Queen Tika (Dorothy Christy) to prevent her land of peace and plenty from being invaded by rapacious “surface men.” It’s a lot for Gene to handle, particularly since he has to get back to Radio Ranch by 2 p.m. every day for his broadcast, which he carries on as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. 

It is said that Wallace MacDonald, one of the serial’s five credited writers, came up with the concept while under the influence of nitrous oxide at his dentist’s office. That seems quite possible, given the screenplay’s furious imaginings, which include an interesting kind of television that requires no cameras (but has an inconvenient, floor-level circular screen) and “radium bombs” posed to destroy the entire planet. 

What gives “Phantom Empire” its enduring charm is the refusal of the filmmakers to play any of its outrageousness for laughs. As extravagant as the action becomes, the picture never loses its sense of complete conviction.


Video Clip 1
Video Clip 2
Gene Autry Tribute
Hawk of the Wilderness 

A twelve-part serial  released by Republic Pictures in 1938
based on the novel by William L. Chester
HAWK OF THE WILDERNESS by William L. Chester (1907 - 1960)

William L. Chester was a New York pulp writer who had four books serialized in Blue Book in the mid-'30s. His Tarzan-like hero, Kioga is a white child who grows up with American Indians. Dr. Lincoln Rand, his wife Helena and their Indian friend, an Iroquois called Mokuyi, are shipwrecked on the coast of a huge land mass Nato-wa, above the Arctic circle. Protected by a range of mountains and warmed by uncharted ocean currents, hot thermal springs and volcanic pools, this is a northern equivalent of ERB’s Caprona. It teems with wildlife; wolves, bears, bison, tigers, leopards and even woolly mammoths and is inhabited by warlike Shoni Indians cut off from the outside world. The castaways are welcomed by the Shoni and they settle in the village of Hopeka. The Rands have a son but an evil witchdoctor arranges for a neighboring tribe to kill the newborn baby's parents. 

 Though they are a warlike people, a tribe called the Shoni eventually welcome the Rands and Mokuyi into their midst and the marooned threesome settle in the village of Hopeka. The baby is called Kioga – ‘Snow Hawk’ – and is raised by Mokuyi tribe. His childhood is made miserable by the Indian children who torment and persecute him mercilessly. Kioga finds a kinship with animals; particularly with a family of bears and with a snow-leopard called Mika. He  learns from the animals: to stalk his prey,  to swing through the trees, and to eat, sleep and fight like a beast. As he matures, his body becomes lean and muscular. He invents a whip and grapple hook to aid his climbing and swinging. After many wilderness adventures, Kioga sails to America and falls in love with Beth.

The Kioga series is made up of four books: 
1. Hawk of the Wilderness ~ Blue Book Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep 1935
2. Kioga of the Wilderness ~ Blue Book Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct 1936 
3. One Against a Wilderness ~ Blue Book Mar, May, Jul, Aug 1937
4. Kioga of the Unknown Land ~ Blue Book Mar, May, Jul 1938
Directed by John English and William Witney
Writing credits: Ridgeway Callow (adaptation) ~ William L. Chester (novel)

Bruce Bennett: Kioga
Mala: Kias
Monte Blue: Yellow Weasel
Harlene Wood: Beth (as Jill Martin)
Noble Johnson: Mokuyi
William Royle: Solerno
Tom Chatterton: Dr, Munro
George Eldredge: Allen Kendall
Patrick J. Kelly: Bill Bill
Dick Wessel:  Dirk
Fred 'Snowflake' Toones: George
Iron Eyes Cody: Storm Cloud (uncredited)
George Montgomery:  (uncredited)
Lane Chandler: Lincoln Rand (uncredited)
Tuffy the Dog: Tawnee, Kioga's dog

Also Known As: Lost Island of Kioga (1938) 
(USA) (recut version TV in 1966)
Runtime: 213 min (12 episodes)
USA release date: December 3, 1938 

Filming Locations 
Bronson Canyon, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, California, USA
Iverson Ranch, Chatsworth, Los Angeles, California, USA
Mammoth Lakes, California, USA
Sherwood Forest, California, USA

A letter from Robert Beche, producer at Republic Studios,
praising Tuffy the dog's work in Hawk of the Wilderness.

HAWK OF THE WILDERNESS was the closest Republic ever came to making a Tarzan serial and it's one of the best serials they ever released. The star of this serial is well known to Tarzan fans. Herman Brix -- later known as Bruce Bennett -- was one of Burroughs' favourite Tarzan actors. He had chosen him to star in the Burroughs company-produced The New Adventures of Tarzan filmed on location in Guatemala. Many serial fans wish that the production values so evident in this William L. Chester story had found their way into the Tarzan serials.

Lincoln Rand, a scientist, his wife, and infant son Kioga lead an expedition to discover a lost tribe on an unknown island. As they approach the island, a violent storm erupts. As the storm worsens, Rand writes a message to his friend Dr. Munro, seals it in a bottle, and hurls it into the sea. Their ship is wrecked and all aboard lost except Mokuyi, Rand's Indian companion, who swims ashore with the baby. 

Mokuyi carries the baby to the lost tribe with whom they live. But b because an active volcano on the island erupted the day of the shipwreck, the natives fear the god of the volcano is angered at the presence of a white baby.

Twenty-four years go by, the passage of time conveyed through changing newspaper headlines superimposed over a shot of the bottled message Rand threw overboard before the wreck. The last headline (a mention of the famous flight of "Wrong Way" Corrigan) gives place to a smaller article in the same paper: a mention of the smuggler Manuel Salerno (William Royle) and his gang, who are on the lam from the U.S. Coast Guard.
Rand's final message, still sealed in the bottle, had been discovered by Solerno. The message instructs whoever finds it to take it to Edward Munro (Tom Chatterton), Rand's closest friend, and it gives the latitude and longitude of the island where Rand was wrecked. The message invites Munro to "come and claim the treasure that awaits you." Salerno and his gang, always on the lookout for ill-gained loot, bring the message to Munro and offer their services as crew. Dr. Munro immediately outfits an expedition to search for Rand. With him go his daughter Beth, her wealthy young suitor Allen Kendall, Bulbul, another scientist, and George, Munro's Negro butler, and Professor Williams. 

On the island, Mokuyi and Rand's son are living with a tribe of natives that dwell on the island; a race from which the American Indians on the mainland descended. Young Rand is called "Kioga" or "Hawk of the Wilderness" by the Indians. Solerno's pirate crew immediately attempts to seize the island's treasure. Taking possession of the ship, they leave the rest of the party at the mercy of the natives. Kioga (Herman Brix) must protect them from the natives, who have been fired up by the evil medicine man Yellow Weasel (Monte Blue).

The Indians go on the warpath, determined to exterminate the whites. The members of the party are about to be annihilated by the savages when an earthquake shakes loose the top of a cliff, burying both whites and savages. Kioga saves the whites by drawing them into a niche at the side of the cliff. When the savages renew their attack, he rescues Beth, carrying her to the cave where he and Mokuyi live. The rest of the party is taken captive by the Indians. 

Kioga enters the Indian village and, aided by Kias, a friendly Indian, rescues the prisoners. Kias, who is a childhood comrade of Kioga's, joins his group. The friends set up a campsite in the forest. Mokuyi and Tawnee, Kioga's dog, set out to hunt for food. But Mokuyi is captured by Solerno and his men who are combing the island for the treasure. As Solerno prepares to torture Mokuyi, Tawnee rushes back to Kioga and, by a series of barks, warns his master of Mokuyi's plight. Kioga follows Tawnee and, after a brief battle, succeeds in rescuing Mokuyi.

Fearful of the smoking volcano and spurred on by their witch doctor Yellow Weasel, the Indians abduct Beth and prepare to sacrifice her to the volcano god. When Kioga attempts to rescue her, he is captured also. Dr. Munro and the others realize that the only way of saving Beth and Kioga is to render the volcano inactive. Dr. Munro discovers the volcano is active because a mountain stream, fed by recent tropical rains, has been flowing into the crater. He reasons that if he, Allan, and Kias can divert the stream by damming it, the volcano will become inactive. Professor Williams and Mokuyi are sent to the Indian's site to stall for time. They tell the Indians that the white mans' magic will overcome the volcano. 

As Professor Williams performs handkerchief tricks and recites nonsense chants to preoccupy the Indians, the others manage to dam the stream with stone. The volcano suddenly becomes silent. Awestruck by the white mans' power, the Indians set Beth and Kioga free. When the friends are reunited, Yellow Weasel is banished from the Indian village for incompetence. He then meets Solerno who tells him that the damming of the stream was what caused the volcano to become inactive. Solerno and his men begin to unblock the stream while Yellow Weasel returns to incite the Indians. 

The volcano begins to erupt once again, and the Indians mount an attack. The friends fell through the forest. Desperately trying to escape the pursuing Indians they hurry through the dreaded Valley of Skulls, an ancient burial site greatly feared by the natives. Although his tribesmen will go no farther, Yellow Weasel proceeds with Solerno and his crew. Kioga and his friends enter a cave and wend their way through labyrinthine caverns until they emerge in a large, desolate valley. There they discover an airplane, which Dr. Munro and Allen recognize as having belonged to an aviator who had vanished years before during a transoceanic flight. They decide that the plane is in working condition and can carry them off the island to safety. But before they can depart, huge rocks, hurled from the volcano, block their takeoff path. They begin slowly to move the stones out of the way. 

Allen, however, has begun to doubt that the plane can carry all of them safely. He believes that their chance of success would be greater if Kias didn't come along. Putting his thoughts into action, allen rolls a boulder toward Kias. But thanks to a warning by Kioga, the Indian just barely escapes serious injury. When allen again tries to kill Kias, Kioga catches him in the act. Mortified, allen runs toward the caves, threatening revenge; and Kioga and Kias set off after him. 

In the caves, Allen is killed by Yellow Weasel, who then attempts to kill Kioga with an arrow. But the noble Kias hurls himself in front of his friend and is hit by the arrow instead. After Kias dies, Kioga pursues Yellow Weasel and kills him. Kioga then returns to his friends as the tremors caused by the volcano grow steadily more pronounced. 

Solerno and his men are also aware of the volcano's increased activity, and interrupt their search for Kioga in an attempt to get back to their ship. As the tremors intensify, the friends pile into the plane for an emergency takeoff. They manage to lift the craft into the air just as the island is ripped asunder by the erupting volcano. 

While Dr. Munro mourns the disappearance of the island, Mokuyi reveals a small pouch he has carried with him: it contains a quantity of valuable gems, assuring future wealth for Kioga and himself. 

Hawk of the Wilderness
Posted in Adventure Movies ~ April 23rd, 2010 
Hawk of the Wilderness (1938) is a Republic Movie serial based on the Kioga novel of the same name by pulp writer William L. Chester.

Kioga is very similar to the character of Tarzan, whom Herman Brix had also played on film in the 1935, Edgar Rice Burroughs produced serial The New Adventures of Tarzan.

Dr Rand, leading and expedition to an uncharted island in the Arctic circle that may be the ancestral home of all Native Americans, is shipwrecked. The only survivors are Dr Rand’s son and his servant Mokuyi. Years later, a message from the sinking ship is found and an expedition sets out to find the island again. Part of the crew, lead by smuggler Solerno, mutinies when they reach the island, abandoning Dr Munro and his expedition. Fortunately, Dr Munro and company are rescued by Kioga, the adult son of Dr Rand, who has been raised on the island by Mokuyi.

» Herman Brix as Kioga (“Hawk of the Wilderness”), son of Dr Rand, a survivor of the initial shipwreck and raised by Mokuyi on the island
» Ray Mala as Kias, Kioga’s native sidekick
» Monte Blue as Yellow Weasel, villainous shaman opposed to Kioga, the Munros and the Smugglers
» Jill Martin as Beth, Dr Munro’s daughter
» Noble Johnson as Mokuyi, the former servant of Kioga’s late father. Rescued Kioga and, as the only other survivor of the shipwreck, raised him on the island
» William Royle as Solerno, smuggler searching for wealth on the uncharted island
» Tom Chatterton as Dr Munro, a scientist who leads an expedition to discover the fate of his old friend Dr Rand
» George Eldredge as Allen Kendall, a member of Dr Munro’s expedition
» Patrick J. Kelly as William Williams, AKA Bill Bill, another member of Dr Munro’s expedition
» Dick Wessel as Dirk
» Fred Toones as George, Dr Munro’s servant
» Tuffie the dog as Tawnee

Hawk of the Wilderness was filmed between 18 September and 13 October 1938, with location filming in the High Sierras. The serial was budgeted for $117,987 but the final negative cost rose slightly to $121,168.

Tuffie was cast when his trainer, during the interview, said “Tuffie, it’s dark in here. Turn on the light.” Tuffie did so by finding the switch, pulling a chair across to reach it and flipping the switch with his paw.

Silent parts of the serial were filmed with a one-inch lens. Cameraman Edgar Lyons had initially been filming more of the clouds in the sky than the actors, with the effect of partially cutting them out of the shot. The studio complained. Director William Witney compromised with the use of the wider lens, which would take in both cloudscape and actors. Only silent scenes were shot in this manner because the camera would be both closer to the actors and take in more of the surroundings, preventing the microphone from gettingh close enough to work properly.

Special Effects
The special effects in this serial were created by the Lydecker brothers.

» Ted Mapes as Kioga (doubling Herman Brix)
» James Dime
» George Montgomery
» Henry Wills

Theatrical: Hawk of the Wilderness’ official release date is 3 December 1938, although this is actually the date the sixth chapter was made available to film exchanges.

Television: In the early 1950s, Hawk of the Wilderness was one of fourteen Republic serials edited into a television series. It was broadcast in six 26½-minute episodes.

It was also one of twenty-six Republic serials re-released as a film on television in 1966. The title of the film was changed to Lost Island of Kioga. This version was cut down to 100-minutes in length.

Critical reception
The burial of Kias in the final chapter is regarded by Cline as one of the “very few successful attempts at drama in serials.”

Chapter titles
1.Mysterious Island (28min 59s)
2.Flaming Death (16min 40s)
3.Tiger Trap (16min 46s)
4.Queen’s Ransom (16min 50s)
5.Pendulum of Doom (16min 35s)
6.The Dead Fall (16min 40s)
7.White Man’s Magic (16min 41s)
8.Ambushed (16min 41s)
9.Marooned (16min 41s) – a re-cap chapter
10.Camp of Horror/Caves of Horror (16min 39s)
11.Valley of Skulls (16min 41s)
12.Trail’s End (16min 40s)

This was one of the two 12-chapter serials released by Republic in 1938, the other was The Fighting Devil Dogs. This year began the studio’s standard release pattern of two 12-chapter and two 15-chapter serials in every year. This pattern remained until 1944 with the exception of 1942, which was only one 15-chapter serial released.

1. a b c d e f g h i j k l Mathis, Jack. Valley of the Cliffhangers Supplement. Jack Mathis Advertising. pp. 3, 10, 34–35. ISBN 0-9632878-1-8. 
2. a b Witney, William (2005). In a Door, Into a Fight, Out a Door, Into a Chase: Moviemaking Remembered by the Guy at the Door. McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0-7864-2258-6
3. Cline, William C.. “3. The Six Faces of Adventure”. In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc.. p. 37. ISBN 078640471X. 
4. “Camp of Horror” is recorded as the title of the tenth chapter in William C. Cline’s In the Nick of Time while “Caves of Horror” is recorded as the title in Jack Mathis’ Valley of the Cliffhangers Supplement.
5. Cline, William C.. “Filmography”. In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc.. p. 223. ISBN 078640471X. 

External links
» Hawk of the Wilderness at the Internet Movie Database
» Hawk of the Wilderness at Allmovie


Cliffhangers: The Phantom Empire
Perils of Nyoka
Nyoka Serial in GIF
Tiger Woman
Flash Gordon
New Adventures of Tarzan
Serial Experience
Bomba the Jungle Boy
Serial Experience Archives
Serial Experience Review of Phantom Empire
Nostalgia League
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Volume 0594

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