Tarzan's Three Challenges (1963) Script


-- 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 came here because they made an unwise choice.

You stand alone against the other members of the council.

The council's been a bunch of dumb-wits for ages.

Their choice has been made, and you will not oppose it.

Leave me now.

You are my brother and leader. I obey.

I am the spiritual sovereign of this land, and yet I cannot bring my own brother's soul to me.


Nari, come on, come on.

Come on, go on.

Stand up, my friend.

Tell me, who is bringing the successor to tarim?

I said, who is bringing the successor to tarim?

Take his rope.

Give him the sword of ancestor. Arm him.

I hear you are a fine swordsman.

I would like to test myself against you.


Come closer. You will learn something.

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 to 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.



You're fool to run into jungle.

You should have stayed on the river bank.

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.

Who are you?

Called Tarzan.

Oh, Tarzan. I have heard of you before.

What are you doing in this country?

There's a monastery. I know it appears in the foot hills of the mountains.

Oh, yes, I know it.

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

Yes, Sechung lives here.

My guide was killed.

Well, let me guide you, then, instead.

I'll be honored.

-- What's your name? -- Hani.

Over those hills.

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 foot hills of the great mountains.

My guide knows the way.

You are welcome to stay with us tonight.

Thank you.

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

Is he still ill?

We hope for his recovery.

If he dies, our country will plead for it.

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 suffering long.

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 an hour.

You swore to me the man from Africa was dead, Ton.

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 a 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 you 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.

Two strangers.

Meet them.

Bring them to me.

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!

No proof! No proof!


Listen. Listen to me!

Do we need more proof to that which our eyes see, that which our ears hear?

I believe him.

The monk who told your tarim about me, was a man who I met in Africa.

We became very close friends.

He contacted me and asked 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 have to find somebody else.

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.



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.

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 miles journey, of what would you make sure?

On meeting an enemy?

1000 miles journey?


I'd make sure that journey was his.

We are honored to have you serve our next spiritual leader, Kashi.

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.

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 gone.

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'm going to see if we've forgotten anything.

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.


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.

All right, we leave tomorrow at sunrise.

One last thing.

All Khan's men wear one of these.

Take warning by it.

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 swarming 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 our leader?

A man may have a 1000 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.

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.

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.

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.

Discussing? I thought we were arguing.


To them!

What's that smoke?

I don't know.

We'll go along the side of the gorges pass for--

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's then?

That is not your decision.

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

Why are you listening to this child?

Can't you see the fire?

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

We'll leave the horses on this side.

Let us leave this place!

Boy must finish his prayer.

Tarzan, let's leave! Please!

We can't go through the fire!

-- Is this the only way? -- Yes, there is a way! This way!

Come on, get out of here!

Take the boy. There!

Hani! Hani!


Do you think the chosen one has been killed?

You are the chosen one! I have chosen you, do you hear?


Let's see the map, please.

-- You know these caves? -- Yes, about 2 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!

Hill tribes. In here, quickly!

-- Where's Kashi? -- Kashi?


-- Kashi! -- Kashi!


Kashi, come on, now.

Kashi, what are you doing?

Be careful, the mother would be near.

I don't think he has a mother.

We must go, Kashi.

Can we take him with us?

That is not possible.


I can think of a name for him.

Come on!

Kashi, please, come back! Kashi!


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!

This way!

Where is the boy?

Where is he?

Watch them!

Kashi? Kashi!

Boy! Boy!

Boy! Boy!

Come out now, or your friends will be killed.

Kashi! Don't listen to him!

Stay where you are!

Boy! Boy!

Let me help him, he'll die unless I bandage him.

Let him die.

Why do you want to kill the chosen one?

Khan will be our ruler, and his son after him.

Tarim is ill, do you not understand?

The boy is the successor. Would you kill the sacred one?

Tarim lives, the boy is nothing.

While tarim lives, he is not sacred.

-- Where's Kashi? -- In there.



Here I am!

Cho San!

Take the boy down the hill. I'll bring Mang.

Go on.

There's a village near here. We'll get help for you there.

The city... only a few hours.

That wound is too dangerous.

The city I promised you. I mean nothing.

Kashi must be there on time.

I am sorry, Mang.

There's no need.

Why are we stopping?

You're bleeding too much.

Too far, Mang. Now, let me help you down.


No, 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.

Cho San.

You help teach Kashi to be brave.

Now teach him humbleness, proprieties to evil shadow of greatness.

Yes, Mang.

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... will...

We will bury him now.

Why is the village deserted?

What has happened here?

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.

Maybe by so doing you saved the lives of many.


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 that 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 peace with the council.

You go with the boy, African?

I'll stay with him until his test date.


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

Cho San.


And Mang?

I'm sorry.

Tomorrow at noon you'll take the tests.

I have been asked to direct them.

Tonight the people pay their final tributes to tarim.

For over 2000 years our leaders have departed this way.

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.

All night and tomorrow until this time for the tests the people will show their happiness.

How long they're gonna keep Kashi in there?

Until the tests begin.

He will contemplate, and turn his mind and heart, so he'll be ready.

Do you feel uneasy here?

-- Here? -- In our city.

In any city.

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 3 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.

I ask you now, Two of the goblets are full of water, and one is empty.

It contains the great emptyness, which is the aim of all wisdom.

Choose it.

The final test is called for.

Four of the urns are empty.

One contains the ashes of our first great tarim.

Choose it.

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?

I challenge!

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 a 1000 years!

We are 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!

Are you aware of what this will mean?

I am aware.

The new tarim calls up an ancient law, permitting him to name a defender in his place.

He has asked 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. Defendor.

One to live, and one to die.

Do you accept the challenge?

I accept.

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 confessing your 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 start to lose this temper of mine.

So you see, Hungry, if Tarzan does not win tomorrow, I will never see you again.

I think he will do, but I feel afraid just the same.

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

But you have 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 broccoli.

Good night, Hungry.

Challenger. Defender.

You will be taken outside the city, passing a 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 weapon which there are no rules.

If the choice of the new tarim be true, life to him and his defendor.

If the choice be false, death.

These swords, preserved a 1000 years, await challenger and defender.

Take them as you reach the net.

Challenger -- to kill, defender -- to protect.

Are you ready?

You know the course? Dismount.

Your final goal is the net and the new tarim.

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?

Destroy the net!

We will not use such things again.

We'll say goodbye here.

Must you go, Tarzan?

Yes, I must, Kashi.

But you're 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, Tarzan, but what have we given you?

The greatest gift of all: friendship.

Good bye.