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The Perils of Pauline (1914)

 |  Action  |  23 March 1914 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 734 users  
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Young Pauline is left a lot of money when her wealthy uncle dies. However, her uncle's secretary has been named as her guardian until she marries, at which time she will officially take ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Stars: Pearl White, Arnold Daly, Creighton Hale
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Crane Wilbur ...
Paul Panzer ...
Raymond Owen aka Koerner (re-release)
Edward José ...
Sanford Marvin - Pauline's Father
Francis Carlyle ...
Hicks - Owen's Henchman
Clifford Bruce ...
Gypsy Leader
Donald MacKenzie ...
Blinky Bill
Jack Standing ...
Ensign Summers
Eleanor Woodruff ...
Lucille Sampson / Mlle. de Leongeon [Ch. 18]
Leroy Baker
Louise Du Pre
Oscar Nye
Sam J. Ryan ...
Baskinelli (as Sam Ryan)
Louis J. Gasnier ...
Himself [Ch. 9]
Joe Cuny
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Storyline

Young Pauline is left a lot of money when her wealthy uncle dies. However, her uncle's secretary has been named as her guardian until she marries, at which time she will officially take possession of her inheritance. Meanwhile, her "guardian" and his confederates constantly come up with schemes to get rid of Pauline so that he can get his hands on the money himself. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Eclectic Film Company's Great $25,000 Prize Photo-Play

Genres:

Action

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 March 1914 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les exploits d'Elaine  »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The storyline in most of the 20 chapters was self contained. Chapters 3 and 4 and 6 through 8 are the only ones where the story continued directly from one chapter to the next. See more »

Goofs

The present distributors of the DVD (Grapevine Video) have created new title credits for each episode, in which they state it was produced by the Eclectic Film Company. Actually, it was produced by the American branch of Pathe Freres, and was distributed (not produced) by Eclectic who handled the USA distribution of Pathe product at that time. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pearl White Superstar
14 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Perils of Pauline is the most famous of the silent movie serials, which were a phenomenon on the teens and early 20s. Pearl White was the superstar of this genre (Ruth Roland and Marion Davies also starred in famous serials) and is the star of The Perils of Pauline.

Loosely plotted with little connecting tissue between episodes, the serials usually featured heroines in all kinds of dangers but always saved in the nick of time. 30s serials mostly featured men in adventurous outings. The "cliff hanger" ending was developed in serials as a way of drawing audiences back to watch the next episode.

The Perils of Pauline was originally a 20-episode serial but only the 9-episode European release survives. It opens with the death of Pauline's uncle and takeover by his "trusted" secretary as Pauline's guardian until she marries. Pauline's boy friend (Crane Wilbur) is a loyal but dumb sort of guy. The guardian (Paul Panzer) is constantly trying to knock off Pauline so he can inherit all the family fortune.

So in each episode Pauline gets into trouble as the guardian and his henchman (Francis Carlyle) try to kill her. The plotting is crude and the escapes are unrealistic but it's all in good fun. And audiences loved seeing Pearl White doing all kinds of dangerous stunts.

In this series she is bound and gagged several times, kidnapped several times by cowboys, pirates, gypsies, wild Indians, etc. and left for dead in a number of caves, burning houses, sinking ships, and subterranean cellars, and of course tied to railroad tracks!

Pauline is imperiled in speeding cars, runaway balloons, runaway horses, and left dangling on cliffs, and fighting off hordes of rats. My favorite is the Indian immortality test in which they shove her down a steep mountain slope to give her a running start and then shove a massive round boulder down the slope after her-a stunt basically repeated in the opening of the first Indiana Jones movie.

Pearl White is pretty and does well as the archetypical heroine. She's also very good in the action scenes whether dangling from a rope or cliff's edge or being carried off by desperados. Crane Wilbur and Paul Panzer overact but it's fun. Milton Berle made his first film appearance in this serial (and also in Tillie's Punctured Romance) in 1914!

An entertaining biography of Pearl White was filmed in 1947 as The Perils of Pauline, starring Betty Hutton.


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