This short takes a comic look at serious moments from past serials. In part I - "Gin" - of "The Curse of a Drinking Heart", a woman is drowning her sorrows in a bar. Upon leaving, she is ... See full summary »




Credited cast:
William Duncan ...
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Marguerite Marsh ...
Herself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Ruth Stonehouse ...
Herself (archive footage)
Herself (archive footage)


This short takes a comic look at serious moments from past serials. In part I - "Gin" - of "The Curse of a Drinking Heart", a woman is drowning her sorrows in a bar. Upon leaving, she is attacked. Will anyone come to her rescue? In "Gun-and-a-Half Dugan", the hero and heroine are trapped in a house by marauding gunman above Cactus Gulch. Can our two heroes escape capture? In "The Man Without a Country-Club", a villain is holding a young couple out fishing at gunpoint. Mother Nature may be on our young couple's side. In "The Clutching Foot", villains are trying to get the secret formula from our hero. They manage to tie him up. But as our hero is played by Harry Houdini, how long will it be until his magic can get him out of this predicament? In "The Perils of Pauline Lipschitz", an adventurer in Africa is mesmerized by the dancing blond white woman native to the area. And in "The Yellow Tickee", two Chinese villains are chasing our hero atop a big city's skyscrapers. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Comedy





Release Date:

October 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pepper Pot (1931-1932 season) #2: Thrills of Yesterday  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Vitaphone production reel #1261. See more »


Music by Egbert Van Alstyne
Lyrics by Gus Kahn
Sung during the opening credits and at the end by an off-screen vocal group
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User Reviews

Generic Short
1 May 2011 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Thrills of Yesterday (1931)

* 1/2 (out of 4)

If you're like me then you're interested in checking out each of the shorts that show up on Turner Classic Movies in between the features. After you've done this a few years you'll see that a large number of comic personalities took silent films, added his own narration and tried to sell it off as being funny. Pete Smith was one such personality who did this and later on even John Nesbitt added his own style, although his shorts went for more drama than laughs. This 9-minute short takes a look at various serials and tries to make them funny. Larry Semon and William Duncan are featured and we even get a nice sequence from a Houdini movie. THE PERILS OF PAULINE also gets its own clip. The strange thing about this short is that all the clips shown are actually fairly interesting and will make you want to check out those films. The problem comes with the narration, which is without question some of the worst written jokes I've ever witnessed. One could argue that this type of short was pointless because it's clear studios were just making fun of their silents because they felt no one would ever want to see them again. They just add narration and they could make some sort of money off the silents. When viewed today this short here just comes off dreadfully bad because of how poor the jokes are and especially some politically incorrect stuff dealing with the Semon clips where Chinese people are made fun of.

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