Thursday, June 28, 2012

Best Chatsworth Movies -- Perils of Nyoka (1942)

Perils of Nyoka (1942) is a Republic movie serial directed by William Witney.  It starred Kay Aldridge as Nyoka the Jungle Girl, a character who first appeared in the Edgar Rice Burroughs-inspired serial "Jungle Girl" (1941).  The success of the original serial prompted the sequel Perils of Nyoka in 1942.


Intrepid Nyoka Gordon is in the jungle searching for her father (lost on a previous expedition).  Dr. Larry Grayson (Clayton Moore) is interested in locating the tablets for their medical value, and assists Nyoka in her attempt to discover the lost Golden Tablets of Hippocrates. 

The tablets containing medical knowledge of the Ancients are believed to be buried with a vast treasure of Gold.

Also hunting for the tablets are Queen Vultura ("Queen of the Desert and Ruler of the Arabs") and her Arab ally Cassib.


Kay Aldridge as Nyoka Gordon
Clayton Moore as Dr. Larry Grayson
Lorna Gray as Vultura
Charles Middleton as Cassib
William 'Billy' Benedict as Red Davis
Forbes Murray as Prof. Douglas Campbell
George Pembroke as John Spencer
Tristram Coffin as Benito Torrini [Chs.1-10]
Robert Strange as Prof. Henry Gordon [Chs. 4-15]
Kenne Duncan as Abu, expedition headman
Georges Renavent as Maghreb, Vultura's high priest [Chs.1-4,7,9,15]
John Davidson as Lhoba, Tuareg high priest [Chs.4-7,12-13]
Ken Terrell as Ahmed, Arab henchman
George J. Lewis as Batan, Arab henchman (as George Lewis)
Art Dupuis as Hassan, Arab henchman

Republic re-released the serial in 1952, under the new title of Nyoka and the Tigermen.  In 1966, it was re-released for television, but this time the title was changed to Nyoka and the Lost Secrets of Hippocrates.

Most of the filming took place on the Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, but a few scenes were lensed at nearby Corriganville.

For an Iverson Movie Ranch historian it doesn't get much better than this serial.  Virtually early corner of the Iverson Ranch appears somewhere in this film.

The cliffhanger scene (on the edge of Nyoka Cliff) -- Nyoka trying to escape Vultura's killer ape -- is one of the best ever filmed:

But, a close second has to be the famous "bridge scene" filmed next to Turtle Rocks on the upper Iverson Ranch:

If you like Cliffhangers they don't get a better than this one, and I heartily recommend seeing it.

By the way… Emil Van Horn played the ape named 'Satan' in Perils of Nyoka.

For more information about the Chatsworth filming locations visit and learn about my books: Rendezvous at Boulder Pass: Hollywood's Fantasyland © 2010 (ISBN: 978-0-615-21522-8) and Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas © 2008 (ISBN: 978-0-615-21499-3)

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