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The Perils of Pauline (1947)

 -  Biography | Comedy  -  4 July 1947 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 675 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 4 critic

The real life story of actress Pearl White during her rise to fame in silent serials.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Perils of Pauline (1947)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Pearl White
...
Michael Farrington
...
Mr. Timmy Timmons
...
George 'Mac' McGuire
...
Julia Gibbs
...
Mr. Joe Gurt
William Farnum ...
Western Saloon Set Hero
Chester Conklin ...
Comic Chef
Paul Panzer ...
Drawing Room Gent
...
Western Saloon Set Propman (as Snub Pollard)
James Finlayson ...
Comic Chef
Creighton Hale ...
Marcelled Leading Man
Hank Mann ...
Comic Chef
Francis McDonald ...
Western Saloon Set Heavy
Bert Roach ...
Western Saloon Set Bartender
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Storyline

Funloving Pearl White, working in a garment sweatshop, gets her big chance when she "opens" for a delayed Shakespeare play...with a comic vaudeville performance. Her brief stage career leads her into those "horrible" moving pictures, where she comes to love the chaotic world of silent movies, becoming queen of the serials. But the consequences of movie stardom may be more than her leading man can take Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 July 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pauline, laß das Küssen sein  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. However, because of legal complications, this particular title was not included in the original television package; as it turned out, the copyright was apparently not renewed, the film fell into public domain, and is now handled by a multitude of distributors. See more »

Goofs

In real life, Pearl began making films for Powers Pictures, then went to Pathé, where she made most of her serials, and to Crystal, where she made a long succession of comedy shorts; in the film, she works for Artcraft, which did not even exist when Pearl began in 1910. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Heart & Soul: The Life and Music of Frank Loesser (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

The Sewing Machine
(1947) (uncredited)
Written by Frank Loesser
Sung by Betty Hutton in Joe Gurt's sweat shop
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not The Genuine Pearl
19 September 2009 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The Perils Of Pauline is reputedly a biographical film about the Queen of the silent serials Pearl White as played by Betty Hutton. Of course any resemblance to the real life of Pearl White is strictly coincidental. The real Pearl White (1889-1938) led a very tragic life with several marriages, injuries as a result of her doing her own stunts when she was younger, and dying an alcoholic's death in Paris with her life savings pretty much spent due to booze and medical bills.

Hardly the kind of story that Paramount would want to have brought to the screen, so they made up a story about Pearl White and cast Betty Hutton in it. If The Perils Of Pauline is not the Pearl White story, it is a good vehicle for Betty Hutton to show off her talents.

Case in point the first number in the show the Sewing Machine Song which Hutton does while working in a sweatshop run in Brooklyn by the appropriately accented Frank Faylen. White never saw Brooklyn, she was from Missouri and got into show business with traveling stock companies in the Midwest. Still it's a great number for Betty Hutton.

Frank Loesser wrote the score for The Perils Of Pauline and his song I Wish I Didn't Love You So got the film an Academy Award nomination for Best Song. This beautiful and plaintive ballad which was introduced on screen by Betty Hutton, earned Dick Haymes a best selling record on the Decca label. Sadly this song lost to Uncle Remus and Zip-Pa-Dee-Do-Dah from Walt Disney's Song Of The South. That decision should have sent Frank Loesser screaming about how he was robbed. As for those who think that Betty Hutton only did raucous comedy numbers, watching this film should set them straight.

The film was also a follow-up role for John Lund who had been introduced the year before in To Each His Own. As a lead, Lund was pretty bland and settled back into character parts for most of his career. He plays an egotistical ham actor heading the theatrical company that Hutton joins. He's so arrogant I can't see why Hutton wasted her time with him. Constance Collier has the best part as the old stage actress who befriends and encourages Hutton. Billy DeWolfe was part of the theatrical troupe that Hutton joined and he was his usual good self. They all wind up on the silent screen after Pearl gets her big break.

This film is an absolute must for fans of Betty Hutton, a great technicolor musical from Paramount's golden years.


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