The Adventures of Tarzan

The Adventures of Tarzan (1921) is a 15 chapter movie serial which features the third and final appearance of Elmo Lincoln as Tarzan. The serial was produced by Louis Weiss, written by Robert F. Hill and Lillian Valentine (partially based on the novels The Return of Tarzan and Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar by Edgar Rice Burroughs), and directed by Robert F. Hill and Scott Sidney. The first chapter was released on December 1, 1921.[1]

The Adventures of Tarzan
Adventures of Tarzan - Elmo Lincoln
Directed byRobert F. Hill
Scott Sidney
Produced byLouis Weiss
Written byRobert F. Hill
Lillian Valentine
based on novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs
StarringElmo Lincoln
Louise Lorraine
Scott Pembroke
Frank Whitson
Lillian Worth
Great Western Producing Company
Distributed byNuma Pictures Corporation
Release date
December 1, 1921 (first chapter)
Running time
? mins. (15 chapters)
English Intertitles


Tarzan rescues Jane from Arab slave-traders after they have been marooned in Africa. They return to the cabin where his parents lived before their death. Jane is captured by Queen La of Opar, taken to that hidden city, and is to be made a sacrifice. Tarzan rescues her and they escape. Nikolas Rokoff and William Cecil Clayton, the usurper to Tarzan's title of Lord Greystoke, learn that Jane has a map to the city (which contains fabulous riches in exotic jewels), tattooed onto her back. They kidnap her and attempt to loot the city. Tarzan braves many perils, finally rescues Jane, defeats the villains and escapes La's amorous clutches.

The Adventures of Tarzan (1921) - 2
Tarzan's agility, speed, and strength allow him to kill a Leopard in 1921's The Adventures of Tarzan.



The success of the serial The Son of Tarzan inspired Great Western Producing Company to approach Tarzan's creator Edgar Rice Burroughs about making another Tarzan serial. However, the rights for another Tarzan film were still retained by the Weiss brothers' Numa Pictures Corporation, the makers of the feature film The Revenge of Tarzan. When Numa discovered that Great Western had Elmo Lincoln, the first screen Tarzan, signed to play the lead, they agreed to a deal in which Great Western would produce the film while Numa would handle distribution.[2] The story was based partially on two of the Tarzan novels, The Return of Tarzan and Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar, with the addition of some new material.[2][3] The desert scenes were filmed in Arizona.


This serial marked Elmo Lincoln's return to the part of Tarzan, whom he was the first to play, but it was also Lincoln's last time as the character.[2] The serial was advertised as "Censor-proof."[3] Nevertheless, censorship forced the previously bare-chested Lincoln to cover up and wear an over-the-shoulder-styled costume for this production.[2] Jane was played by Louise Lorraine, who celebrated her sixteenth birthday during production.[2] As advertised "Joe Martin, famous screen ape, plays a leading part."[3] Production started 1 January and finished 13 August 1921.[2] The serial's prologue featured Edgar Rice Burroughs himself.[3]


Frank Merrill began doubling Lincoln about half way through the serial. Lincoln was insured for $150,000 and the insurers were not happy with him doing his own stunts. Seven years later, Merrill was cast as the Apeman in Tarzan the Mighty.[2][3][4]



For marketing purposes The Adventures of Tarzan Serial Sales Corporation was formed in New York. The serial sold in half of all available markets without the use of a road man. Within three months of the completion date it had sold out in most countries world wide.[2] Despite rumours circulated that the serial was not new material, but just a rehash of footage from previous Tarzan films, The Adventures of Tarzan was a successful film and one of the top four attractions of the year.[2] The film was reedited and released with sound effects twice—first in 1928, and a second time in 1935.

Home media

The complete fifteen chapter version has not survived. The version available on DVD is the 1928 ten chapter re-release.

Critical reception

The Exhibitors Herald wrote, "Elmo Lincoln as Tarzan is too well known to theater-goers to need further introduction. His red-blooded fights, staged in each episode, will evoke applause from the serial audience." Film Fun Magazine wrote, "There are enough wild animals introduced in each episode to keep the younger generation, which has shown a predilection for the serial form of entertainment, whooping her up.”[2]


The success of the serial inspired a Broadway show, Tarzan of the Apes, but critics attacked it as fit only for film and unsuitable for the stage.[2]

Chapter titles

  1. Jungle Romance
  2. The City of Gold
  3. The Sun Death
  4. Stalking Death
  5. Flames of Hate
  6. The Ivory Tomb
  7. The Jungle Trap
  8. The Tornado
  9. Fangs of the Lion
  10. The Simoon
  11. The Hidden Foe
  12. Dynamite Trail
  13. The Jungle's Fury
  14. Flaming Arrows
  15. The Last Adventure


The Adventures of Tarzan
AuthorMaude Robinson Toombs
Cover artistJerry Schneider
SeriesTarzan (book series)
PublisherERBville Press
Publication date
2006 (trade paper)
2008 (hardcover)
Preceded byThe Dark Heart of Time (1999) 
Followed byThe Greystoke Legacy (2011) 

Originally written as a 15-part serial for newspapers in 1921, it was collected and published as a released as a trade-paperback (ISBN 978-1-4357-4973-3) by ERBville Press in January 2006. The book became available as a hardcover via in 2008.


  1. Jungle Romance
  2. The City of Gold
  3. The Sun Death
  4. Stalking Death
  5. Flames of Hate
  6. The Ivory Tomb
  7. The Jungle Trap
  8. The Tornado
  9. Fangs of the Lion
  10. The Simoon
  11. The Slave Market
  12. Dynamite Trail
  13. The Jungle's Prey
  14. The Flaming Arrow
  15. The Last Adventure


  1. ^ Erbzine
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Essoe, Gabe. Tarzan of the Movies. Citadel Press. pp. 37–44. ISBN 978-0-8065-0295-3.
  3. ^ a b c d e Harmon, Jim; Donald F. Glut. "6. Jungle "Look Out The Elephants Are Coming!"". The Great Movie Serials: Their Sound and Fury. Routledge. pp. 123 and 125. ISBN 978-0-7130-0097-9.
  4. ^ Stedman, Raymond William. "3. At This Theater Next Week". Serials: Suspense and Drama By Installment. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 56. ISBN 978-0-8061-0927-5.

See also

External links

Preceded by
The Dark Heart of Time
Tarzan series
The Adventures of Tarzan
Succeeded by
Tarzan: The Greystoke Legacy
Elmo Lincoln

Elmo Lincoln (born Otto Elmo Linkenhelt) (February 6, 1889 – June 27, 1952) was an American film actor.

Frank Whitson

Frank Whitson (March 22, 1877 – March 19, 1946) was an American film actor. He appeared in 66 films between 1915 and 1937. He was born in New York, New York, and died in Los Angeles, California.

George B. French

George B. French (April 14, 1883 – June 9, 1961) was an American film actor. He appeared in 92 films between the mid-1910s and early 1940s.

Gordon Griffith

Gordon S. Griffith (July 4, 1907 – October 12, 1958) was an American assistant director, film producer, and one of the first child actors in the American movie industry. Griffith worked in the film industry for five decades, acting in over 60 films, and surviving the transition from silent films to talkies—films with sound. During his acting career, he worked with Charles Chaplin, and was the first actor to portray Tarzan on film.

List of silent films released on 8 mm or Super 8 mm film

Decades before the video revolution of the late 1970s/early 1980s, there was a small but devoted market for home films in the 16 mm, 9,5 mm, 8 mm, and Super 8 mm film market. Because most individuals in the United States owning projectors did not have one equipped with sound, vintage silent films were particularly well-suited for the market. A number of feature films were released in full-length versions from the 1960s until the market essentially evaporated in the early 1980s with the advent of home video, which made collecting "films" considerably cheaper. The silent feature films were released on multi film reels, each holding approximately 20 minutes of film, and were often expensive for the era, a feature-length Super 8 mm silent film might cost over $100 in 1970s dollars.

Among the titles that were released on Super 8 mm/8 mm format were:

America starring Neil Hamilton

Blood and Sand starring Rudolph Valentino

Broken Blossoms starring Lillian Gish

Civilization directed by Thomas Ince

College starring Buster Keaton

Don Q Son of Zorro starring Douglas Fairbanks

Down to the Sea in Ships starring Clara Bow

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde starring John Barrymore

Foolish Wives starring Erich von Stroheim

Girl Shy starring Harold Lloyd

Grandma's Boy starring Harold Lloyd

Intolerance directed by D.W Griffith

It starring Clara Bow

Little Annie Rooney starring Mary Pickford

Nosferatu starring Max Schreck

Orphans of the Storm starring Lillian Gish

Peck's Bad Boy starring Jackie Coogan

Safety Last starring Harold Lloyd

She starring Betty Blythe

Die Nibelungen: Siegfried directed by Fritz Lang

Slums of Berlin directed by Gerhard Lamprecht

Son of the Sheik starring Rudolph Valentino

Sparrows starring Mary Pickford

Speedy starring Harold Lloyd

Steamboat Bill, Jr. starring Buster Keaton

The Adventures of Tarzan starring Elmo Lincoln

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari starring Conrad Veidt

The Birth of a Nation starring Lillian Gish

The Black Pirate starring Douglas Fairbanks

The Hunchback of Notre Dame starring Lon Chaney

The Mark of Zorro starring Douglas Fairbanks

The Gold Rush starring Charlie Chaplin

The Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Chaney

Thundering Hoofs directed by Fred Thomson

Tillie's Punctured Romance starring Charlie Chaplin

Tol'able David starring Richard Barthelmess

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea starring Matt Moore

Way Down East starring Lillian Gish

Way Out West starring Laurel and Hardy

Zapruder Film directed by Abraham Zapruder

Louise Lorraine

Not to be confused with Broadway star and Ziegfeld actress Lillian Lorraine.

Louise Lorraine (born Louise Escovar; October 1, 1904 – February 2, 1981) was an American film actress.

Opar (fictional city)

Opar is a fictional lost city in the Tarzan novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs and later the Khokarsa novels of Philip José Farmer and Christopher Paul Carey and various derivative works in other media. The city first appeared in the second Tarzan novel, The Return of Tarzan (1913).


"Rimmerworld" is the fifth episode of science fiction sit-com Red Dwarf Series VI and the 35th in the series run. It was first broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on 4 November 1993, was written by Rob Grant & Doug Naylor and was directed by Andy de Emmony.

Robert F. Hill

Robert F. Hill (April 14, 1886 – March 18, 1966) was a Canadian film director, screenwriter, and actor during the silent film era.

Scott Pembroke

Scott Pembroke (September 13, 1889 – February 21, 1951) was an American director, actor and screenwriter. He directed 73 films between 1920 and 1937. He was born in San Francisco, California and died in Pasadena, California.

Scott Sidney

Scott Sidney (1872 – 20 July 1928), born Harry Wilbur Siggins, was an American film director. He directed 117 films between 1913 and 1927.

He died in London, England, United Kingdom.


Tarzan (John Clayton II, Viscount Greystoke) is a fictional character, an archetypal feral child raised in the African jungle by the Mangani great apes; he later experiences civilization only to reject it and return to the wild as a heroic adventurer. Created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan first appeared in the novel Tarzan of the Apes (magazine publication 1912, book publication 1914), and subsequently in 25 sequels, several authorized books by other authors, and innumerable works in other media, both authorized and unauthorized. The film version of Tarzan as the noble savage (“Me Tarzan, You Jane”), as acted by Johnny Weissmuller, does not reflect the original character in the novels, who is gracious and highly sophisticated.

Tarzan (book series)

Tarzan is a series of twenty-four adventure novels written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, followed by several novels either co-written by Burroughs, or officially authorized by his estate. There are also two works written by Burroughs especially for children that are not considered part of the main series.

The series is considered a classic of literature and is the author's best-known work. Tarzan has been called one of the best-known literary characters in the world. Written by Burroughs between 1912 and 1965, Tarzan has been adapted many times, complete or in part, for radio, television, stage, and cinema. (It has been adapted for the cinema more times than any book)

Even though the copyright on Tarzan of the Apes has expired in the United States, the name Tarzan is still protected as a trademark of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. Also, the work remains under copyright in some other countries where copyright terms are longer.

Tarzan Ki Beti

Tarzan Ki Beti is an action adventure film of Bollywood directed by B Pratap Singh. This movie was released in 2002 as a sequel of the Adventures of Tarzan. Hemant Birje portrayed Tarzan in both the films.

Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar

Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar is a novel by American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs, the fifth in his series of books about the title character Tarzan. It first appeared in the November and December issues of All-Story Cavalier Weekly in 1916, and the first book publication was by McClurg in 1918.

Tarzan the Mighty

Tarzan the Mighty is a 1928 American action film serial directed by Jack Nelson and Ray Taylor. It was nominally based on the collection Jungle Tales of Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The film is now considered to be lost.

The Dark Heart of Time

The Dark Heart of Time: A Tarzan novel is a novel by American writer Philip José Farmer, authorized by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. Published in 1999, the book was first announced under the title Tarzan's Greatest Secret in 1997. A 2018 reissue of the novel will mark the book's first hardcover edition, and will be retitled as Tarzan and the Dark Heart of Time.Set in October 1918—during Tarzan's search for Jane—the novel takes place between Tarzan the Untamed and Tarzan the Terrible.The novel's antagonist is James D. Stonecraft, an American oil magnate who believes that Tarzan knows the secret of immortality. Stonecraft hires hunters to track and capture Tarzan for the secret, leading to a conflicts at the "City Built by God" and the "Crystal Tree of Time". Through all of the adventure Tarzan is focused on escaping his pursuers so that he may return to his search for his wife.

William Cecil Clayton

William Cecil Clayton is a recurring fictional character in Edgar Rice Burroughs's series of Tarzan novels and in adaptations of the saga to other media, particularly comics.

Films directed by Robert F. Hill

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