The theatrical release of this film used the tagline "That 'Rebellion Girl' is dodgin' unbelievable perils in The Perils of Pauline." This was a reference to Pamela Austin's sudden celebrity in a series of television commercials for automaker Dodge in which her catchphrase was "The Dodge Rebellion wants you!" See more »
While not exactly offensive, the 1967 version of "The Perils of Pauline" is certainly moronic. The title might lead you to expect a tribute to Pearl White (the original Pauline in the 1914 silent 20 episode serial) but for that you would be better served by the 1947 version starring Betty Hutton. This 1967 version is like a mix of "Casino Royale" and the weakest of the Elvis movies. Worst of all it is not a blend of these but more like someone scotch-taped together segments from each so that the thing skips back and forth between the two styles.
What unity there is in the production comes from the pairing of Pamela Austin (Pauline) and Pat Boone (George Steadman), a good match because both lack even the most basic of acting skills (imagine Mandy Moore playing opposite Dan Quayle).
Austin would later play opposite John Aston in "Evil Roy Slade", with the talent disparity between them actually painful to watch. In the mid-60's she was the "Dodge Rebellion" girl, as such she was featured in a similar series of perilous situations-imagine Sandra Dee in a dark blue jumpsuit. When the automaker's ad agency replaced her with the "Dodge Fever" girl someone got the bright idea to showcase her in a feature film.
What story there is here begins with Pauline growing up in the Baskerville Foundling Home run by the actress who played Mrs. Chatsworth Osborne Sr. on "Dobie Gillis". George falls in love with her (Pauline-not Mrs Osborne) and sabotages several opportunities she has to be adopted. George leaves to seek his fortune and 19 year old Pauline gets a job tutoring a young oil rich Middle Eastern prince. When he tries to add the attractive blonde to his harem she runs away and goes from peril to peril. These include African pygmies, a 99½ year-old millionaire who wants to freeze her until his one year-old grandson is old enough for marriage, the movie industry, and the Russian space program.
All this is intended to be silly and charming but manages only the silly part. There is some effort to incorporate a silent film look to the action sequences by simulating the under- cranking of a camera (which speeds up the action). Unfortunately everything else (film stock, production design, editing) is depressingly 1960's. Nothing here even approaches the images of Pearl White strapped to a log moving toward a buzz-saw or tied to railway track waiting for the approaching train.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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