The Adventures of Tarzan (1921)

Article #1040 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-19-2004
Posting Date: 6-17-2004
Directed by Robert F. Hill and Scott Sidney
Featuring Elmo Lincoln, Louise Lorraine, Scott Pembroke

Tarzan tries to keep a villain named Rokoff from stealing the treasure of the land of Opar.

Why am I covering another serial so soon? There’s a reason for this. Usually, I like to watch my serials one episode at a time (right before the movie I watch for the day), and I was planning to do the same for this one. I was fifty minutes into this serial before it started to dawn on me that the chapter breaks had been edited out, and I was so far along that I decided to just ride the thing out to the end, even though that is hardly the best way to watch a serial. According to one source, this serial consists of 15 episodes; the tape I have says 10. Since it’s all edited together, I can’t say for sure. It starts in the middle of the action (maybe there’s some missing episodes), and the first third is confusing and repetitve; you can only see so many lion attacks before you get bored. However, things start to sort themselves out when the villains leave the jungle with Jane as their captive and decide to head to a nearby village to gather up some henchmen.

Tarzan is played by Elmo Lincoln, and I must admit that I never thought that sounded like a name of someone who would play Tarzan, but then I never thought Arnold or Sylvester sounded like good action hero names either. He was certainly one of the most muscular Tarzans I’ve ever seen; in fact, I think he might have made a good Hercules. He may even be a bit on the chunky side, but that me be just his costume, which tends to accentuate his paunch more than his other assets. Since this is a silent, he can’t give a nice Tarzan yell, but he does a victory pounding-of-the-chest which not only serves as a satisfying substitute, but it looks aerobically healthy as well. In fact, there really is something about this serial that is unique; it doesn’t really feel like any other Tarzan serial or movie I’ve seen, though I can’t quite put my finger on it. Not bad, but I wish I could have taken it one episode at a time.


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