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Volume 6744

Unauthorized Tarzan Films
Tarzan Ki Beti ~ 1938
A Review by Robert Allen Lupton

View It HERE
Tarzan Ki Beti (Daughter of Tarzan) | Full Length Bollywood Hindi Movie

Poster and Screen Captures are from the 2002 version of this title.
We use them here until we can track down more images from the 1938 version

There were two films titled Tarzan Ki Beti. The first was released in 1938 and the second in 2002 as a sequel of the Adventures of Tarzan, a 1985 Bollywood film. Articles about the 2002 and the 1985 films will appear later in this series.

The second Tarzan Ki Beti, is a 1938 Aurora Film Corporation and Kamla Movietone Productions movie directed by Roop K. Shorey featuring Shyama Zutshi, Manika, Baig, G. N. Butt, Matto, Zahoor Shah, M. L. Mattu, J. N. Dar, Hukum Singh, Nafiz, Begum, Manek Kapoor, and Majnu (Harold Lewis). Anapam Ghatak wrote the music.

The two films are frequently confused. The poster included above is from the 2002 film, but it is regularly shown incorrectly in incomplete articles about the 1938 film. A cursory inspection of the credits on the poster indicate that it is from the 2002 film.

The 1938 movie debuted at the Nishat Cinema Theatre in Lashore on May 20, 1938. This article is about the 1938 film.

Tarzan Ki Beti translates as “Tarzan’s Daughter,” or “The Daughter of Tarzan.”

Almost no information is available about this film. It doesn’t appear that any prints, posters, or lobby cards from this budget movie have survived. Without empirical evidence, at first I wasn’t sure that the film was real. However, it is listed in several places. lists the movie along with the cast and crew, but doesn’t have any pictures. lists the movie and includes a bio of the director, Roop Shorey. has an article that includes the release date and theatre. has a page dedicated to the movie, but it is almost entirely devoid of specific information. and both have pages about this movie, but no details. lists the songs from the film.

The film is listed in the amazing well researched book, Global Perspectives on Tarzan: From King of the Jungle to International Icon edited by Annette Wannamaker and Michelle Ann Abate. Evidence is overwhelming that the film, Tarzan Ki Beti was made in 1938, but I have not been able to locate a surviving photograph, film clip, poster, or movie still.
Roop K. Shorey, a Hindi and Punjabi director and producer was born in Quetta (now Pakistan). Son of Roshan Lal Shorey, Roop was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and raised by an English governess. He acquired an early interest in Western music and English literature. He started his career as a Cinematographer, lab assistant, editor and producer in Kamala Movietone, owned by his father. (It’s always all in the family in Bollywood.) As a child, he was a prolific writer and composer, and followed in the footsteps of his father and made his first full-length comedy Lucky Lovers at the age of 17. He produced and directed more than fifty short films in Lahore, and turned feature director with the coming of sound, pioneering low cost versions of Bombay films: e.g. myths, love stories and Tarzan movies. Shorey was the first to demonstrate the financial viability of this formula, esp. in partnership with Dalsukh M. Pancholi.

One of the earliest films directed by Roop was Majnu (1935) — a musical comedy satirizing the old story of Laila Majnu, produced, directed and shot in Lahore with Ghulam Haider as music director. Playing the lead was Roop’s childhood friend Harold Lewis, akaMajnu. With daring motorbike stunts and special effects, audiences were thrilled at the sight of Majnu trapped on the railway tracks by the villain. The film confirmed his success as a film-maker.

Tarzan ki Beti (1938) was hailed as the best jungle picture ever produced in India at that time. Filmed in the snowy Himalayas, the film topped its predecessor in its action sequences and placed Punjab on the entertainment map of India and the world.

Majnu made a marked return in Nishani (1942), a musical situational comedy with Majnu in a double role. With music scored by Pandit Amernath, and Ragini as the heroine, Roop and his father personally trained the technical staff and musicians, who worked morning to night on a fixed salary.

He worked with Information Films of India in WW2 and migrated to Bombay following partition and established Shorey Films in Bombay (1948). With a solid reputation in Hindi and Punjabi cinema already established, Roop began to set new trends in comedy film with Ek Thi Ladki (1949, starring Motilal, Meena Shorey, Kuldeep Kaur, Majnu and I.S. Johar), one of Roop’s biggest hits as a producer. With Partition, Roop and his family lost their film empire in Lahore, but they moved to Bombay and tenaciously continued as before. In the years following independence, he produced Dr. Chaman (Punjabi), starring Meena Shorey, Karan Dewan, Om Prakash and Kuldeep Kaur, Dholak (1951), with Meena Shorey and Ajit in the lead-role, and Ek Do Teen (1953) starring the familiar Motilal-Meena team. Roop specialized in pure situational comedy where the characters were ready to laugh at themselves rather than take pleasure at laughing at others. R.K. Karanjia, writing for Blitz in 1953, called Roop `The King of Comedy’.

During the same time period, Roop married Meena, the leading lady of his many films. In 1955, the couple was called to Lahore by J.C. Anand to make Miss 56. It was somewhat like Mr. & Mrs. 55, a Mahubala-Guru Dutt venture from Bombay. Shorey directed Miss 56 with Meena in the lead. Santosh, Shamim Ara, Charlie, Zareef and Aslam Pervaiz were also in the cast. Though the film did good business, it proved to be the swan song for the Shoreys. Meena, the lara-lappa girl (Her hit song from the 1948 film, Ek Thi Ladki) of the forties was pampered by all, in contrast with the treatment meted out to declining artistes by film-goers in Bombay. For her it was like rediscovering the adulation of her youth. So when the time came to return to India, she decided to stay, leaving heart-broken Roop to take yet another trip from Lahore empty-handed, within a span of ten years, first losing his means of livelihood and then his sweetheart. He died in 1973. Meena survived him by fifteen years, but shelived like a pauper in the last years of her life. When she died in 1989, the expenses of her burial were met through charity.

Roop’s last film, Ek Thi Rita, an English bilingual (A Girl Named Rita), intended to tap the US market, was released in 1971. Roop Shorey, who passed away at the age of 56, will always be remembered for his serious approach to a genre known for its lightheartedness.

Five songs performed in the film are listed below. The translations are my own, because literal translations can be beyond cumbersome. For example, Moorakh Man Ab Rota Kyon Hai, translates literally as “Crass Mind Cries Now.” I like my translation better.

Duniya Hai Shatranj Ki Baazi, which I translate as “The World is a Game of Chess.”

Kya Suhaana Samaan Hai Khula Chandrama, which I translate as “How Pleasant It Is Beneath the Haloed Moon.”

Moorakh Man Ab Rota Kyon Hai which I translate is “My Foolish Mind is Crying Now.”

Nazumi Haathe Hamaara Dekh or, “We Will Join Hands in the Future.”

Prem Pujari Aao Prem Pujari Aao is a tough one. Pujari can mean priest, worship, or worshipper. Prem roughly means love, but people use the word to mean I love you. I translate the title as, “I’ve learned to love you, learned to love you.

The rest of this article focuses on the cast and crew. Alas, information on several of the actors  and actresses listed in the credits on various sites is nonexistent. In many cases, another actor, actress, or politician exists, with the same or a similar name, and was born after the film was made. For example, a famous Indian politician was named Hukum Singh. He was born the same year that Tarzan Ki Beti was released and is obviously not the Hukum Singh who is listed in the film’s credits.

Shyama Zutshi was born in 1910. She appeared in films beginning with Shiv Bhakti in 1934. She acted in several films including, Majnu, Tarzan Ki Beti, Khonni Jdaugar and Kaarwaane Hayatt.

Shyama Zutshi belonged to a well to do family in Lahore. Her father, Ladli Prasad Zutsh, was an attorney. She was quite a successful and sought after actress, but abruptly left films and focused on politics and the freedom struggle. Shyama was an elected congressional leader and a front line freedom fighter along with her mother and sisters. The family was influenced by Gandhi’s Non Violence movement.

Another possible reason for Shyama Zutshi to quit films was the influence of a fellow Kashmiri Actor Chander Mohan Wattal. Chander Mohan told her repeatedly to quit. According to him acting in movies was not meant for girls from good families.

I wonder how he felt about her being elected to congress and marching on the protest lines.

(Shyama and her sisters, Manmohini and Janak with their mother Lado Rani. All four women were front line Freedom Fighters from Punjab)

 G.N. Butt was best known as a supporting actor. He appeared in 68 films including Jatti (1958), Nooran (1957) and Zamindar (1943). He died on October 16, 1966 in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan.

Zahoor Shah is best known for Dil Da Jani (1967), Heer Sial (1965) and Sola Aanay (1959). He made over 70 films. The photo of Zahoor is the best I could locate.

  Zubeida Begum Dhanrajgir (1911–1988) was an Indian film actress. She acted in the first Indian talkie movie Alam Ara (1931). Her credits include early hits Devdas (1937), and Sagar Movietone's first talkie, Meri Jaan.

Born in Surat city of Gujarat in western India, Zubeida was a Muslim princess, the daughter of Nawab Sidi Ibrahim Muhammad Yakut Khan III of Sachin State and Fatima Begum. She had two sisters, Sultana and Shehzadi, both actresses. She was among the few girls who entered films at a tender age during a time when it was not considered an appropriate profession for girls from respectable families, let alone royalty.

Zubeida was only 12 when she made her debut in Kohinoor. Through the 1920s she made infrequent appearances on screen along with her sister, Sultana who, by then, had become one of Indian cinema's loveliest leading ladies. One of the films to star the two sisters was Kalyan Khajina in 1924. They also shared the screen in Zubeida's first blockbuster, Veer Abhimanyu released two years earlier, a film where their mother, Fatima Begum, played an important role.

In 1925 Zubeida had nine releases, amongst themKala Chor, Devdasi and Desh Ka Dushman. A year later she starred in her mother's film, Bulbul-e-Paristan. 1927 was memorable for her with movies Laila Majnu, Nanand Bhojai and Naval Gandhi's Sacrifice which were very successful movies at this time. The latter, based on Rabindranath Tagore's 'Balidan', also starred Sulochana Devi, Master Vithaland Jal Khambatta. It condemned the age-old custom of animal sacrifice in certain Kali temples in Bengal. The Members of the Indian Cinematograph Committee were wowed by this "excellent and truly Indian film". Its European members recommended that it be sent abroad for screening.

Zubeida starred in a string of silent films before Alam Ara proved to be the turning point in her career and was her biggest hit. She suddenly was highly in demand and got wages high above the standards for a woman in the film industry at that time.

Through the '30s and early '40s she made a hit team with Jal Merchant and starred in several successful films based on Hindu mythology.

She was also successful in portraying emotions with films such as Ezra Mir's Zarina which had her playing a vibrant, volatile circus girl whose kisses steamed up the screen and sparked a heated debate on censorship. Zubeida was one of the few actresses to make a successful transition from the silent era to the talkies.

In 1934 she founded Mahalakshmi Movietone with Nanubhai Vakil and had box-office bonanzas in Gul-e-Sonobar and Rasik-e-Laila. She continued to appear in one or two films a year till 1949. Nirdosh Abla was her last film.

Zubeida spent her last years at the family's Bombay palace, Dhanraj Mahal. She died in 1988.

Majnu, whose real name was Harold Lewis, was introduced as a leading man opposite Shyama Zutshi by producer/director Roop K. Shorey in Majnu (1935) — a musical comedy satirizing the old story of Laila Majnu, and produced, directed and shot in Lahore with Ghulam Haider as music director. The film was filled with daring motorbike stunts and special effects. Audiences were thrilled at the sight of Majnu trapped on the railway tracks by the villain.

The film was a success and R. K. Shorey used Majnu as the leading man in his next film, Tarzan ki Beti (1938). Tarzan Ki Beti was hailed as the best jungle picture ever produced in India at the time. Filmed in the snowy Himalayas, the film topped its predecessor in its action sequences and placed Punjab on the entertainment map of India and the world.

In later years, Majnu acted as a comedian/supporting actor in many films including Ek Thi Ladki (1949), Ek Do Teen (1953), Jalwa (1955)

Move Screen Captures by Bill Hillman
Poster and Screen Captures are from the 2002 version of this title.
We use them here until we can track down more images from the 1938 version





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