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» » Les vautours de la jungle (1938)

Short summary

An expedition arrives on an uncharted jungle island to rescue the local natives, led by a jungle boy, from a volcano that is about to erupt.

CHAPTER TITLES: 1. Mysterious Island; 2. Flaming Death; 3. Tiger Trap; 4. Queen's Ransom; 5. Pendulum of Doom; 6. The Dead Fall; 7. White Man's Magic; 8. Ambushed; 9. Marooned; 10. Camp of Horror; 11. Valley of Skulls; 12. Trail's End.

This series was based on a novel by William L. Chester called HAWK OF THE WILDERNESS.

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: Bil
    The Tarzan-like character Kioga, concerning the adventures of a young man, orphaned-and-marooned on a semi-tropical island north of the Artic Circle,was the creation of William Lester Chester. In a contract dated December 18th, 1934, the McCall Publishing Company bought "Hawk of the Wilderness," for a seven-part serialization in their "Blue Book" magazine in 1935 between April and October. The story was then published in a 33-chapter, 308 page hard-cover book by Harper and Brothers in 1936. Chester then begin turning out "Kioga" novellas on an annual basis for "Blue Book", beginning with "Kioga of the Wilderness" in seven issues between April and October of 1936. The next sequel ran between March and August of 1937 in six disassociated short stories under an umbrella title of "One Against a Wilderness." Chester returned to the magazine-serial format in 1938 (March through August) under the title of "Kioga of the Unknown Land." Following the four "Kioga" stories, Chester abandoned his writing career with the advent of World War II.

    On June 24, 1936 Chester's agent notified Republic Pictures Corporation that Chester had agreed to sell the original story for $1000, provided the Harper book was displayed on-screen for publicity purposes.The dust-cover of the book is shown on the second page of the credits behind a credit line that reads: "Based Upon the Book of the Same Name by William L. Chester." The final agreement, was signed by Chester and Republic's President, Nat Levine. The contract licensed production by Republic of one photoplay, either a serial or a feature, in addition to granting feature-version rights if made into a serial, and television rights.

    The project then went into limbo for ten months before Republic turned it over it a succession of script writers. Reggie Callow drafted a treatment between May 18 and June 1, 1937, which was followed by work by Sol Shor between October 18 and November 27,1937. Rex Taylor, Barry Shipman, and Norman Hall, the only writers credited on the film, for Original Screen Play, wrapped it up between May 31 and September 14, 1938.

    "Hawk of the Wilderness" was the only serial of Republic's first 34 that did not utilize first-chapter optical credits for the actors. It was also the last Republic serial to carry all of the cast credits on each chapter until the practice was reinstated seven years and 23 serials later with "Federal Operator 99." And, instead of the usual two-cards for cast credits, the studio stacked the names of eleven players and one dog (Tuffie)on a single card, with no opticals or role names shown. The no-role names applied only to the film credits, which explains why those who don't have access to the original press book or the company call-sheets, keep incorrectly changing the roles (as heard in the film and seen on the paper records)to whatever they "think" they heard. The only time role names appear on this film is on the re-cap cards at the beginning of the last eleven episodes and, then, only for a few of the main players. Which is why characters such as Patrick J. Kelly's "William Williams, also known as Bill-Bill" keeps getting incorrectly "corrected" to just "Bill-Bill." The Consolidated people who prepared the cast-card misspelled the name of the dog, Tuffie, as Tuffy, and this did not please the dog's owner, trainer and handler, Ger Overdalh. But that was offset by the "dog's" $250-a-week salary, which was more than the majority of the cast was paid. Tuffie's female counterpart, Tippie, doubled for the credited star.

    Bruce Bennett (Herman Brix)died on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2007, age 100.

    Data on here, which will eventually find its way to Trivia by some contributor, came from biographical material on William L. Chester; "Valley of the Cliffhangers" by the late-and-great Jack Mathis; and this author's research and collection of Republic material.
  • comment
    • Author: Fesho
    HAWK OF THE WILDERNESS, from 1938, is Republic Pictures' most underrated serial. It has as strong a plot as ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN MARVEL, made three years later, yet MARVEL is Republic's most popular and famous serial, while HAWK is hardly ever mentioned.

    Yet the plot, actors, directors, production crew, and stuntmen are as good here as in Republic's other serials. The plot, based on a book by William A. Chester, goes like this. Dr. Rand, a renowned scientist, along with his Indian servant, wife, and infant son, embarks on an expedition to the Artic in search of a mysterious island inhabited by the ancestors of the American Indians, who migrated from the island to the mainland, although some of them still live there. Nearing the island, the ship is wrecked, and Dr. and Mrs. Rand drowned. However, Mokuyi, the Indian servant, manages to gain the shore carrying the baby. Twenty-four years pass, and the baby grows into a strong, brave, young man, called Kioga(Hawk of the Wilderness)by the island Indians, most of whom, led by the evil witch doctor Yellow Weasel, oppose the strangers, with the exception of a young brave named Kias who befriends Mokuyi and Kioga.

    Meanwhile, in civilization, a note in a bottle, cast overboard by Dr. Rand at the time of the wreck, is finally discovered, but by the notorious smuggler Salerno. Salerno and his men, tempted by the mention of wealth in the letter, go to Dr. Munro, an old friend of Rand's, and offer to sign on as his crew in an expedition to see if any of Rand's party survived. Munro, his daughter Beth, Allan Kendall, a wealthy young man, Bulbul, another scientist, and George, Munro's Negro butler, sail to the island with Salerno and his crew. On arrival, Salerno and his men mutiny, murdering the captain Munro had hired. Salerno's gang return to the ship, leaving the Munro had hired. Salerno's gang return to the ship, leaving the Munro party stranded. Shortly afterward, Yellow Weasel and his Indians launch an attack on them. Kioga, however, on the advice of Mokuyi, rescues the Munro group, and from then on, Kioga and the Munros must battle the Indians, Salerno and his smugglers, and the island itself, to escape and return to civilization.

    The cast is excellent, with Herman Brix,(later Bruce Bennet) standing out in his only starring role at Republic. He is perfect as Kioga, not only excelling in the action scenes, but turning in an above-the-serial-average performance. The rest of the cast provide good back-up, particularly the two villain leaders, William Royle as Salerno and veteran character actor Monte Blue as Yellow Weasel. Royle's performance is all the more impressive when you remember that he played Sir Denis Nayland Smith in DRUMS OF FU MANCHU two years later.

    The Lydecker effects are spectacular, especially the exploding volcano in the final chapters, and John English and William Witney once again direct the film smoothly through the fights and chases to the climactic twelfth episode.

    In summing up, this serial(in my humble opinion) deserves to rank in the serial top ten with ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN MARVEL, MYSTERIOUS DR. SATAN, and the other Witney and English classics.
  • comment
    • Author: Saberblade
    I wanted to see this film serial because my grandfather acted in it. His name was James Spencer. I found this serial to be a great example of the genre of that time. While I found some of the plot points alittle "dated", I can see why these projects caught the imagination of our best directors of today, ie. Spielburg & Lucas. BTW.. If you see the first episode, one of the scientists crew who land on the lost island is the great cowboy star and once married to Dina Shore, George Montgomery.
  • comment
    • Author: Grokinos
    To borrow nautical terminology, this is one top film from stem to stern. There is very little to criticize.

    In Chapter 1, we have Scientist and Explorer, Lincoln Rand his Wife, Infant Son, family dog are all trapped inboard ship in stormy, choppy sea. Along with the family is Mokyui, Rand's American Indian assistant.

    The ship is clearly headed to wreckage and Mr. Rand places a message of there whereabouts and news of the in a bottle.Addressing the message to a Dr. Munro, and referring to "an unknown Treasure. Sealing it with wax, he pitches it into the stormy waters. He then sends the baby, Mokyui and Fido into a Lifeboat to the safety of the shore of this unknown island. The Senior Rand stays to attend to his bed-ridden spouse. The ship soon wrecks, they are lost.

    A great montage of film showing 20 years passing (it started in 1918) and the bottle found by a gang of modern day coastal pirates. They deliver message to the Professor Munro, who is gathered with a group who undertake a voyage to this island. They hire the Solerno Gang, not knowing of their Criminal Behaviour.

    Meanwhile, we see that Mokyui, Lincon Rand, Jr. and the pup have survived and are living on the island. They are in a Stone Age Existence, the Boy having reverted to a Primitive way of life. He has developed into a powerful, athletic warrior known to the islands as Kioga,the Hawk of the Wilderness. The Rand group is an outlaw band to the main Indian Tribe, headed by 'Yellow Weasel' The following Chapters deal with the struggles encountered by the Rand Group, the Munro Party, the Solerno Gang and the Local Tribe. There are so many things done well in this Serial, that I may well forget to mention all.

    First, there is such a beautiful setting, being a hilly, mountainous area, with tall, old pine trees being the predominant growth in the forest. The combination of the hills and valleys, the more temperate look than most other Serials and Westerns made by Republic.* (I read somewhere that a Northern California locale was employed, making for some of the most beautiful scenery in any Serial.

    The plot is at once believable, but also just fantastic enough to generate long interest with its Saturday Matinée crowd. The fight scenes are finely staged, and remember, they were staging a struggle among 3 groups-not the usual 2.

    In contrast to the Scientists, the Hostile Redskins and Kioga's Friends, we have George to provide comic relief of a Black Stereotype. The actor,Fred Toones, known professionally as 'Snowflake' was a performer , who did his job very well as evidenced by his credits. He had roles in many A pictures as well as the B, or Westerns and Serials. He was prominently featured in the sleeper, THE BISCUIT EATER.

    We must mention the one former University of Washington footballer and 1928 Olympic Shot Puter, Herman Brix. Later to become known as a fine dramatic actor, Bruce Bennet, he was nearly the perfect actor to portray Kioga. His Athletic and obviously powerful physique being impossible not to notice. **

    Lastly, as usual, we have great Republic Pictures music in the theme and the incidental music, both. The opening theme (by William Lava?)sets the table of emotions and has a good sound to it, as if it were adapted from Native American Sounds and Themes. HAWK OF THE WILDERNESS has aged well. It is a favourite with fans and has been "revived" for fan showings, I'm told. It will remain interesting and exciting to many a generation. How do we know? Well. just screen it for your kids or grand children (who haven't seen it) and watch their reactions. You can't fool these kids.

    And They'll tell you so!

    * Most 'B' Westerns and Serials have a Mediterranian, semi-arid look of their surroundings. This is because they were most often filmed in near by Hollywood locations in dessert, or in Griffith Park. There being great disparity to Northern California, which photographs like the North Woods.

    ** Young Mr.Brix developed his powerful, athletic build, not in any gymnasium, but rather by working in his father's logging camp as a Lumberjack!
  • comment
    • Author: Otiel
    Herman Brix:

    6' 2" 203 lb shot putter held world indoor and outdoor records for several yrs in late 20s and 30s''' ( according to Track and Field News) Chapman's book never delved into his workout routines (He did not lift heavy weights and did not use steroids)

    Straight arrow married to the same woman from 1933 til her death in 2000..... He may live to the age of 100 or more....

    Somebody should do a serious , more in depth interview of Bruce Bennett as I felt that there was much more to be revealed than was discussed in Mike Chapman"s book " "Please don't call me Tarzan"

    I watched the Republic serials on KPHO TV Phoenix (early fifties on the Wallace and Ladmo kiddie show) before there was regular network programming..

    John Wayne and Herman Brix, two great ex football players who made there mark on the psyche of all movie goers..

    STEVE IN ORO VALLEY
  • comment
    • Author: Saimath
    This may be one of the least known of the famous Republic serials. And that's a shame since it's one of their very best. It's little known, perhaps, because it may still have a copyright holding it back from much exposure. Unlike Undersea Kingdom, S.O.S. Coast Guard, Robinson Crusoe On Clipper Island or the other public domain serials readily available on a variety of DVD labels, you can only find this on an out-of-print VHS double tape set. Hawk Of The Wilderness features beautiful locations and a very good, original music score by William Lava. It also features lively action, a terrific shipwreck in the first chapter, and good performances by a good cast. The version I've been watching seems to be taken from the old VHS tape, and that version was a superior print with crystal-clear picture and sound. The clarity of the film print heightened the majesty of the truly beautiful locations, artistically photographed. There is a good script and a few surprises for those who find the screenplays of such serials predictable. This is one old serial worth seeking out for fans of the genre. I'm not saying where I'm getting this from, since I believe Paramount still holds the rights to it. All I can tell you is: "Seek and ye shall find".
  • Cast overview:
    Bruce Bennett Bruce Bennett - Lincoln Rand Jr / Kioga (as Herman Brix)
    Mala Mala - Kias
    Monte Blue Monte Blue - Yellow Weasel
    Harley Wood Harley Wood - Beth Munro (as Jill Martin)
    Noble Johnson Noble Johnson - Mokuyi
    William Royle William Royle - Manuel Solerno
    Tom Chatterton Tom Chatterton - Dr. Edward Munro
    George Eldredge George Eldredge - Allan Kendall
    P.J. Kelly P.J. Kelly - William Williams / 'Bill-Bill' (as Patrick J. Kelly)
    Dick Wessel Dick Wessel - Dirk - Henchman
    Fred 'Snowflake' Toones Fred 'Snowflake' Toones - George (as Snowflake)
    Tuffie the Dog Tuffie the Dog - Tawnee (as Tuffy)
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