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.[1]

Tarzan the Mighty
Theatrical poster to Tarzan the Mighty (1928)
Directed byJack Nelson
Ray Taylor
Written byIan McClosky Heath
Jack Nelson
Based onJungle Tales of Tarzan
by Edgar Rice Burroughs
StarringFrank Merrill
Al Ferguson
Natalie Kingston
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • October 29, 1928 (1928-10-29)
Running time
15 episodes
CountryUnited States


  • Frank Merrill as Tarzan. Joe Bonomo was cast as Tarzan but, while filming Perils of the Wild, fractured his left leg and severely injured his sacroiliac joint while performing a stunt.[1][2][3] Director Jack Nelson remembered Frank Merill from working with him on an earlier production, either Perils of the Jungle (1927)[2] or The Adventures of Tarzan.[3] Whichever production it was, he felt that Merrill was a natural replacement and the new lead actor started filming the next morning.[2][3]
  • Al Ferguson as Black John, village ruler of Pirates' descendants
  • Natalie Kingston as Mary Trevor. There was no Jane in this production. Kingston was cast as the castaway and love interest Mary Trevor.[2][3]
  • Bobby Nelson as Bobby Trevor, Mary's younger brother
  • Lorimer Johnston as Lord Greystoke, Tarzan's uncle


After the failure of Tarzan and the Golden Lion, starring "Big Jim" Pierce, FBO did not make a sequel. Universal paid Burroughs an undisclosed sum to make a new Tarzan serial based on Jungle Tales of Tarzan. This serial was later re-titled Tarzan the Mighty.[3]

Merrill, who was the National Gymnastics champion from 1916 to 1918, came up with the vine-swinging technique. Merrill actually swung on a "vine" (a rope) with Kingston in one arm. The footage was later studied by MGM for Tarzan the Ape Man (1932) and the subsequent series of Tarzan films with Johnny Weissmuller.[2][3]

Production began on April 12 and finished on October 28, 1928[3] The serial was originally intended to be 12 chapters long but it was so successful that it was extended to 15 chapters in length.[3] Tarzan the Mighty was successful enough for a sequel, Tarzan the Tiger, to be put into production with many of the cast returning (in slightly different roles in some cases).[2][3]

Chapter titles

  1. The Terror of Tarzan
  2. The Love Cry
  3. The Call of the Jungle
  4. The Lion's Leap
  5. Flames of Hate
  6. The Fiery Pit
  7. The Leopard's Lair
  8. The Jungle Traitor
  9. Lost in the Jungle
  10. Jaws of Death
  11. A Thief in the Night
  12. The Enemy of Tarzan
  13. Perilous Paths
  14. Facing Death
  15. The Reckoning

See also


  1. "Progressive Silent Film List: Tarzan the Mighty". silentera.com. Retrieved February 21, 2008.
  2. Harmon, Jim; Donald F. Glut (1973). "6. Jungle "Look Out The Elephants Are Coming!"". The Great Movie Serials: Their Sound and Fury. Routledge. pp. 125–126. ISBN 978-0-7130-0097-9.
  3. Essoe, Gabe (1972). Tarzan of the Movies. Citadel Press. pp. 56–61. ISBN 978-0-8065-0295-3.
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