Tarzan's Three Challenges (1963) - full transcript

The spiritual leader of an oriental country is dying. The leader's evil brother Khan is plotting to prevent Kashi, the youthful heir, from assuming his rightful position. Tarzan is summoned to protect Kashi and, in doing so, he must face Khan in three tests of strength. The final test is a sword fight which takes place on a wide-mesh net stretched over cauldrons of boiling oil. Jeweled elephants lead grand processions, and a thousand girls perform the "dance of the candles". A baby elephant named Hungry replaces Cheetah in the humor role.

[Instrumental music]

[Music continues]

[Music continues]

[Music continues]

[Instrumental music]

[Plane buzzing]

[Music continues]


[Instrumental music]

And he is on his way.

Yes, highness.

Go to the monastery
and tell sechung

to prepare my successor
for his journey.

My brother... is your health
improved today?

Look upon me as one
who hears death

breathing in his ear.

Then I must speak now
before your successor comes.

I consider him an unwise choice.

You stand alone against

the other members
of the council.

The council of elders are
losing their wits through age.

Their choice has been made..

And you will not oppose it.

Leave me now.

You are my brother and leader.

I obey.

[Instrumental music]

I am the spiritual sovereign
of this land..

And yet, I cannot warm
my own brother's soul to me.

[Dramatic music]

[Indistinct chatter]

[Elephant trumpeting]


Nari, now, come on. Move.

Now, come on. Move.

[Chattering continues]

[Horses galloping]


[Speaking in foreign language]

[Indistinct chatter]

[Horse neighs]

Stand up, my friend.

Tell me, who's bringing
the successor to tarim?

I said, who is bringing
the successor to tarim?

Take his robe.

Give him sword and cesta.

Arm him.

I hear you are a fine swordsman.

I would like to test myself
against you.

[Elephant trumpeting]

[Elephant trumpeting]

[Indistinct chatter]


Come closer.

You will learn something.

[Horse neighs]

[Dramatic music]



[Indistinct chatter]

[Music continues]



Who is bringing
tarim's successor?

Tell me his name.

- Tarzan.
- Again.

A man from Africa.

His name is Tarzan.

You fought well.


What is it, nari?

He told you what you wanted.

So why did
you have Tor kill him?

He was a strong and clever man.

Suppose he'd escaped?

One must always secure
one's position, nari.

Remember that.

My son shall rule
this land after me

and no stranger from Africa
can turn

the course of our destiny.

[Instrumental music]

[Music continues]


[Whistling continues]

[Boat revving]

[Speaking in foreign language]

[Dramatic music]


[Boat revving]


[Engine revving]



[Instrumental music]


(Tarzan) You're a fool
to run into the jungle.

You should have stayed on
the riverbank.

I was trying to get help.

Why were those men
trying to kill us?

Oh, pirates, that's all I know.

And I tried to warn you
on the boat.

You had never seen
any of them before?

Oh, never. And who are you?

Called Tarzan.

Oh, Tarzan,
I have heard of you before.

What are you doing
in this country?

There's a monastery,
north of here

in the foothills
of the mountain.

Oh, yes, I know it.

An elder with the name
of sechung, he lives there?

Yes, sechung lives there.

My guide was killed.

Well, let me guide you then,

I'll be honored.

- What's your name?
- Hani.

Over those hills.




[Indistinct chatter]

[Elephant trumpets]

More! Eat more.

Food is very good.

You do not eat.

I'm not very hungry, thank you.

The monastery is
a day's walk from here.

In the foothills
of the great mountains.

My guide knows the way.

You are welcome
to stay with us tonight.

Thank you.

[Indistinct chatter]

My people are praying for
the soul of our leader, tarim.

He's still ill?

We hope for his recovery.

But the successor
has already been chosen.

Yes, but where is he?

No one knows.

No one knows
when he will appear.

While our people are waiting..

Poised like an eagle,
is tarim's brother.

- Tarim's brother?
- Gishi Khan.

May he be taken early
and suffer long.

Do you think it was Khan's men
that attacked us?

I don't know.

Their faces were hidden from me.

Khan has always been jealous
of his brother.

Where there is jealousy,
there is darkness.

Excuse me.

I must join my people
in the temple.

We will leave within the hour.

[Indistinct chatter]

(Gishi) You swore to me the man
from Africa was dead, Tor.

And at this very moment,
he is on his way

to sechung's monastery.

Forgiveness, Khan.

- Another chance?
- No.

You leave Tarzan to me.

You will kill the successor.

Get out!

The successor is the chosen one.

He must not be touched.

Chosen by whom, nari?

By old monks who know nothing
of the real world?

Outside these mountains,
men with modern ways

and weapons are moving
towards us.

Civilization is coming.

How do we meet it?

They need a new kind of leader.

One who will teach them
these modern ways

and make them strong.

I would have been that man..

But they chose my brother
tarim before me.

The chosen one is holy.

Not until tarim dies,
when he is holy..

Then he will have my respect.

But not now.

Not now.

[Bell tolling]

[Instrumental music]

Two strangers. Meet them.

Bring them to me.

[Music continues]

(Sechung) Have you no proof,
no evidence we can see?

Nothing to convince us that
you're the man tarim chose?

I told you, we were attacked.

My friend, the messenger that
your tarim sent, was killed.

How do we know that?

Because I tell you.

And he can tell you.

Why should his word be taken?

He is not known to us.

Our tarim knew that
a man of unusual bravery

and strength must be found

to take his successor
to the city.

For he feared the harm

his brother gishi Khan
might do him.

Since no one in this land
could stand up to Khan

in strength and cleverness,
it was necessary to go elsewhere

for such a man.

He heard of Tarzan
from one of his monks

and Tarzan was sent for.

Now you say
you are this exceptional man

but there is no proof!

[People clamoring]

Proof! No proof!



Listen to me!

Do we need more proof
to that which our eyes see

that which our ears hear?

I believe him.

The monk that told
your tarim about me

was a man that I met in Africa.

We became very close friends.

He contacted me
and asked me to do him a favor.

He said it was very important
to him... and to his people.

I agreed to do it.

And what was this great favor?

He only told me that
I was to escort someone

through very dangerous country.

After I arrived,
before he could give me

the details, he was dead.

Now, you'll have to find
somebody else.

(Boy ♪1) Let him be
tested in our skills!

His actions will be
the proof we need.

Will you agree to the tests?

Who are you?

I am the successor.

You're the successor?

I'm honored.

Do you agree to the tests?

What are they?

Tests of strength and wisdom.

I agree.

[Indistinct chatter]




You have shown your skill.

Next comes our test of strength.

You will be required
to resist the pull

of two buffaloes
for five strokes of the gong.

[Strikes gong]


[Buffalo moos]




[Buffalo moos]


[Instrumental music]



You are strong,
but are you wise?

For a strength without wisdom,
often breaks its own back.

I hope I'm wise enough to learn.

A good answer.

But now, answer this.

On meeting an enemy
after a 1000-mile journey

of what would you make sure?

After meeting an enemy?

Thousand miles journey?

L... I'd make sure
that journey was his.

[Instrumental music]

We are honored to have you serve
our next spiritual leader


The woman who watches
over him is called Cho San.

- Are the tests over?
- We accept you.

You are kind
to come so far to help me.

Come. We must prepare ourselves.

[Music continues]

What will happen to kashi
when he reaches the city?

He will undergo final tests
before the people

and when he succeeds in them..

They will know
he is truly the chosen one.

What if he doesn't succeed?

Then Khan will take
the throne by force

and a 1000 years of peace
will be ended.

What is wrong, Cho San?

Why do you ask, kashi?

You seem so unhappy.

Are you afraid?

No, not afraid.

It's just that
I do not wish to lose you.

How can you lose me?

When a boy grows..

And changes into a man

no matter if he stays
with his mother or not

in some way she loses him.

You are not my mother.

But I feel as a mother does.

I'll go and see if
we have forgotten anything.

(Sechung) The east road
leads to the city.

A difficult way,
but the shortest.

Mang will go with you
and all the men you wish.

I'd be very pleased
to have mang.

Thank you.

And one more, my guide hani.

So few?

Our safety lies in speed.

We're here.

This is the route you must take.

(Tarzan) Why?

Because it leads to the shrine

where kashi will make
his final vows.

- Does this have to be?
- It is imperative.

Does Khan know about this?

Only the elders of this
monastery and myself

and of course, mang.

Alright, we leave tomorrow
at sunrise.

One last thing..

All Khan's men
wear one of these.

Take warning by it.

[Birds chirping]

[Instrumental music]

[Monkey hooting]

[Elephants trumpet]

[Dramatic music]

[Music continues]

[Instrumental music]

[Horses galloping]

What brings you here,
gishi Khan?

Bad news. Tarim is dying.

We know that.

What journey are you beginning?

A religious one.

I thought I might find
tarim's successor.

I wish to pay my respects.

Tarim's successor
is not with us.

Perhaps he's gone ahead?

There are rumors
a man from Africa

is giving him safe conduct.

In this country,
there are many rumors

like bees stirred from a hive.

Let us pass, gishi Khan.

Before you go,
do you know my son?

Look at him well.

He looks a fine boy.

He reads, he writes,
he knows the ways of the elders.

He also is courageous.

Are those the qualities
you look for in a leader?

A man may have 1,000 qualities..

But he cannot become our leader

unless chosen by
the council of elders.

Can he not make
himself a leader?

If one of his qualities
be humility

he will not force his destiny.

[Dramatic music]

[Instrumental music]

We'll rest here.

Why? Are you tired?

No, I was thinking of you
and Cho San.


We will tell you when.

No, kashi. I'll tell you when.


- Hani!
- Yes, Tarzan.

We're stopping here.

I want you to ride to the shrine

make sure there's no one
in it or near it.

And get back
just as soon as you can.


Thank you.

Better sit down, kashi..

And rest.

I prefer to stand.

It's been a long ride.

You know, my back is sore too.

Is it? Mine is not.

Oh, there's nothing wrong
in admitting it.

You know, this is
the very first time you've ever

been on a horse.

You see? No pain.


[Horse neighing]

Why do you want him
to admit he's hurting?

It's human.

Is it?

It is not our way.

You could not understand.

There is no point
in discussing it.


I thought we were arguing.

[Strikes matchstick]


[Dramatic music]


Through there!

[Music continues]

[Horse neighing]

What's that smoke?

I don't know.

[Horse neighs]

We'll go along the side of
the gorge and pass further down.

What are you waiting for?

The shrine..

What about it?

I must make my vows there.

Can't you see the fire?

It hasn't reached the shrine.

Bring him along.

Come on,
what are you waiting for?

Didn't you hear me?

If I do not make my vows..

There is no point
in going to the city.

If you go to the shrine and
the wind changes, what then?

That is not your decision.

If you do not take us,
we must cross alone.

Why are you listening
to this child?

Khan will see that fire.

Until a thing happens,
let no man say it is so.

We'll leave the horses
on this side.

[Dramatic music]

Let us leave this place!

The boy must finish his prayer.

[Instrumental music]

[Fire crackling]

Tarzan, let's leave! Please!

[Dramatic music]

[Music continues]



You can't go through that fire!

- It's the only way!
- Yes, there is a way! This way!

Come back here, hani.

Take the boy. Here!

Straight ahead!


[Dramatic music]


[Elephants trumpeting]

[Music continues]

Hani! Hani!







[Dramatic music]

[Fire crackling]

[Music continues]

Do you think the chosen one
has been killed?

You are the chosen one!

I have chosen you, do you hear?

[Kookaburra cawing]


Let's see the map, please.

You know these caves?

Yes, about two miles from here.

I want you to take kashi
and Cho San, and go on.

What you are going to do?

Wait for Khan.

Go on ahead,
I'll meet you there.

Now, hurry!

[Instrumental music]

[Monkey shrieking]

[Music continues]

Hill tribes.

In here, quickly!

[Buffalo moos]

[Music continues]

[Elephants trumpeting]


Where's kashi?



- Kashi!
- Kashi!

[Instrumental music]


[Music continues]

Kashi, come on, now.

Kashi, what are you doing?

Be careful,
the mother will be near.

Il don't think he has a mother.

We must go, kashi.

Can't we take him with us?

That is not possible.


I shall think of a name for you.

Come on!

[Instrumental music]

[Instrumental music]

[Elephant trumpeting]

[Elephant trumpeting]

[Instrumental music]

Kashi, come back.



Kashi, there's no time.

Oh, just one minute, please.

I knew I'd see you again.

Kashi! Come quickly!

I'm gonna call you hungry.

Come on, kashi, quickly now.

Come on, come on now.

[Instrumental music]

[Music continues]

[Elephant trumpeting]

[Instrumental music]

[Monkey chattering]

Shh! Keep it quiet.

[Monkeys screeching]

[Birds chirping]

[Monkeys screeching]

This way!

[Instrumental music]

[Elephant trumpeting]

[Instrumental music]

[Music continues]

[Dramatic music]

[Gun cocks]

Where is the boy?


Where is he?

Watch them.

[Instrumental music]

[Birds chirping]

Kashi? Kashi!


[Dramatic music]

Boy! Boy!

[Music continues]

[Music continues]


5 (tor) Oy! Boy!

Come out now or your friends
will be killed.

Kashi! Don't listen to him!

Stay where you are!


5 (tor) Oy! Boy!

[Intense music]

Let me help him.

He'll die unless I bandage him.

Let him die.

Why do you want to kill
the chosen one?

(Male ♪1) Khan will be our ruler

and his son after him.

(Cho San) Tarim is ill,
do you not understand?

The boy is the successor.

Would you kill the sacred one?

(Male ♪1) Tarim lives,
the boy is nothing.

While tarim lives,
he is not sacred.



Where's kashi?

In there.

[Echoing] Kashi!

[Echoing] Kashi!

Here I am, Tarzan, over..

[Muffled screaming]

[Echoing] Kashi!

[Kashi grunting]

Cho San!


Take the boy down the hill.

I'll bring mang. Go on.

[Mang grunting]

[Instrumental music]

There's a village near here.

We'll get help for you there.

City, only a few hours..

That wound is too dangerous.

The city I promised you..

I mean nothing.

[Instrumental music]

Kashi must be there on time.

I am sorry, mang.

There's no need.

[Instrumental music]

[Music continues]


[Instrumental music]

Why are we stopping?

You're bleeding too much.

It's too far, mang.
Now, let me help you down.


No, we're not too far.

This is a bad place to stop,
you know that.

Don't underestimate Khan.


Before long you may have
to undergo another test.

A far greater one.

Please... please, go on.

[Dramatic music]

[Instrumental music]

[Music continues]

[Instrumental music]

Cho San..

You have helped teach
kashi to be brave.

Now teach him humbleness.

For pride is the evil shadow
of greatness.

Yes, mang.

[Instrumental music]

Don't be afraid to cry, kashi.

Please, stay with us, mang.


I must go ahead.

I think we were...
Brothers once.

For we've begun to be
brothers again.

Promise me, when I die..

Not to cremate me, but bury me.

It's too... dangerous here.

My soul will..



We will bury him now.

[Gong strikes]

Why is the village deserted?

What has happened here?


[Horses neighing]

Is there a plague on your
village? Where are your people?

My people are going to the city
to welcome the newly chosen one.

He is holy now.

Tarim is dead.

He is at peace.

I think I envy him.

That man in the cave,
I've killed him.

You did it defending
the life of the chosen one.

Would it have been a greater
sin to let him die?

There is no time
when killing is right.

You killed one man, Cho San.

May be by so doing,
you saved the lives of many.


[Horses neighing]

You are not afraid.

That is good.

I come in peace.

Tarim is dead.

You know you must
pass certain tests

before the people
will accept you.

I know.

And even then.

But let us leave
that until the day.


My son.

You have sent your men
to kill us, Khan.

Nari and these men will
escort you to the city.

I must ride ahead and take
my page with the council.

You go with the boy, African?

I'll stay with him
until he's ordained.

[Instrumental music]

[Music continues]

[Music continues]


We have been here a day
praying for your safe coming.

Cho San, Tarzan..

And mang?

I'm sorry.

Tomorrow at noon
you take the tests.

I have been asked
to direct them.

Tonight, the people pay
their final tributes to tarim.

[Instrumental music]

[Instrumental music]

[Music continues]

For over 2,000 years

our leaders have
departed this way.

[Music continues]

But your people..

They don't seem to be sad.

Why should there be sadness?

Tarim has been released
from the wheel of life

into everlasting contentment.

[Music continues]

All night and tomorrow

until it is time for the tests

the people will show
their happiness.

[Music continues]

[Crowd chattering]

[Drums beating]

[Instrumental music]

How long they're gonna
keep kashi in there?

Until the test begin.

He will contemplate,
and cleanse his mind

and heart, so he will be ready.

Do you feel uneasy here?

- Here?
- In our city.

In any city.

[Drums beating]

[Trumpets blowing]

[Instrumental music]

You have been chosen
as tarim's successor.

Is it your wish to take these
final tests before the people

to show your faith
and true right?

It is my wish.

There are three white
diamonds in front of you.

One of them belonged
to the first tarim

and it has been handed down
to all his spiritual sons.

If you are the true successor,
you will know which one it is.

[Instrumental music]

[Crowd chattering]

I ask you now..

Two of the goblets
are full of water

and one is empty.

It contains the great emptiness
which is the aim of all wisdom.

Choose it.

[Instrumental music]

[Crowd cheering]

The final test is called for.

Four of the urns are empty.

One contains the ashes
of our first great tarim.

Choose it.

[Instrumental music]

[Music continues]

[Music continues]

[Instrumental music]

[Crowd cheering]

It is done. They accept him.

We call you tarim.

We acknowledge your divine right
to rule us.

Are there any among our people
who would challenge this?

(Gishi) I challenge!

[Crowd chattering]

I challenge.

On what ground?

I invoke the challenge
of the fourth test.

The challenge of might?

Of might.

But this challenge has not
been invoked for 1,000 years.

We're people of peace.
We have no need...

This is a new time!

The new world is coming through
these mountains toward us.

We must prepare to meet it.

I challenge the new tarim
to show that he can defend us

and that he can also
defend himself!

[Crowd chattering]

Are you aware of
what this will mean?

I am aware.

[Crowd chattering]

The new tarim calls
up an ancient law

permitting him to name
a defender in his place.

He has asked the Tarzan.

The man from Africa
to be his defender.

The rule of the new tarim
has been challenged.

You have been asked
to defend him.

Challenger... defender.

One to live, and one to die.

Do you accept the challenge?

I accept!

[Crowd cheering]

Why did you challenge him?

- What is it, nari?
- The people want him.

But they will have me.

And after me, you.

No, father.
I could not be a leader.

I am too afraid.


I've given you courage
and taught you strength.

Why should you be afraid?

I have always been afraid
of you.

Of me?

I've shown you nothing but love.

I made the challenge for you.

You are afraid
of the sin of pride

so you say you do it for me,
but it is for yourself.

Go on, nari,
you're making me angry.

- You must listen...
- Get out of here!

Young people
have difficult days.

One must forgive them.

One must forgive them,
do you hear me?

Get out! Get out, all of you!

This... temper of mine.

This temper
has always been the same.

I'll kill the man
from Africa first.

And then I'll study
to lose this temper of mine.

[Hungry trumpets]

So you see, hungry,
if Tarzan doesn't win tomorrow

I'll never see you again.

[Hungry trumpets]

I think he will too

but I feel afraid just the same.

And I don't want him to be hurt
for my sake.

I had to choose him though.

He is the only one
who could stand up to Khan.

And don't worry.

Cho San will see
that you are fed properly.

Goodnight, hungry.

[Bell tolling]

[Monks chanting]

[Dramatic music]

[Trumpets blowing]

[Crowd chattering]

[Water bubbling]

[Dramatic music]

[Music continues]

[Instrumental music]

[Crowd chattering]

Challenger, defender..

"You will be taken
outside the city

"passing the course
which leads back to us.

"You will see on the way

"where the knife is
to free you from each other.

"At no time will one strike
the other by hand or by weapon.”

This rule must not be broken

until you reach
your final goal..

This net.

The lines of life and death.

A web in which
there are no rules.

If the choice of
the new tarim be true

life to him and his defender.

If the choice be false..


These swords,
preserved 1,000 years

await challenger and defender.

Take them as you reach the net.

Challenger to kill.

Defender... to protect.

Are you ready?

[Trumpet blowing]

[Horse neighing]

[Instrumental music]

You know the course. Dismount.

Your final goal is the net,
and the new tarim.

[Both grunting]

[Dramatic music]

[Music continues]

[Gishi grunting]

[Tarzan groans]

[Instrumental music]

Why did you accept
the challenge, African?

Why did you make the challenge?

It's my country,
I know what is best for it.

Kashi is best for it!

You'll never see Africa again!

Growing weak, defender?

[Instrumental music]

[Intense music]

[Instrumental music]

[Dramatic music]

[Music continues]

[Instrumental music]

[Both grunting]

[Dramatic music]

[Crowd chattering]

[Instrumental music]

[Music continues]

[Crowd cheering]


[Crowd cheering]

[Instrumental music]

[Crowd cheering]

[Music continues]

[Crowd chattering]

[Water bubbling]

[Crowd cheering]

[Crowd cheering]

[Instrumental music]

[Water bubbling]

[Water bubbling]

[Crowd cheering]

[Dramatic music]

[Crowd cheering]

[Dramatic music]

[Both grunting]


[Crowd cheering]

[Gishi gasping]

[Gishi screaming]

[Crowd cheering]

[Cheering continues]

[Cheering continues]

Destroy the net!

We will not use
such things again.

[Crowd cheering]

[Instrumental music]

We'll say goodbye here.

Must you go, Tarzan?

Yes, I must, kashi.

But you are welcome to stay here

to be my defender
as long as you wish.

You don't need me any longer.

Your people will defend you now.

I will miss you.

I will miss you too, kashi.

You have done so much for us,

but what have we given you?

The greatest gift of all..



[Instrumental music]

[Music continues]

[Hungry trumpets]

[Instrumental music]