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The Perils of Pauline (1947)

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

Director:

George Marshall

Writers:

P.J. Wolfson (screenplay), Frank Butler (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Betty Hutton ... Pearl White
John Lund ... Michael Farrington
Billy De Wolfe ... Mr. Timmy Timmons
William Demarest ... George 'Mac' McGuire
Constance Collier ... Julia Gibbs
Frank Faylen ... Mr. Joe Gurt
William Farnum ... Western Saloon Set Hero
Chester Conklin ... Comic Chef
Paul Panzer ... Drawing Room Gent
'Snub' Pollard ... 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

Fun loving 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

Taglines:

The Untold Story of the Life and Loves of the First Great Thrill Star of the Screen!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 July 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Los peligros de Paulina See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the movie was screened to test audiences, there was one a scene that had Pauline being attacked by a gorilla played by Charles Gemora. This was paying homage to the silent film where Pauline gets attacked by a gorilla. However, that scene scared women and left the theater holding on to their throats due to how horrific it was. As a result, the film was deleted. All that remains of this scene, is a photograph. See more »

Goofs

In real life, Pearl White was married and divorced twice; her second husband committed suicide in 1928, 7 years after their 1921 divorce. In the film, she never marries, although a forthcoming marriage to the fictitious Michael Farrington is implied at the finale, which takes sometime in the mid-1920's. See more »

Quotes

George 'Mac' McGuire: [They have just learned that the President is to declare war on Germany] How do you like that? Everything happens to me! War! They couldn't hold off until after the wedding? No. They gotta do it now and gum up everything.
Pearl White: War... but it's horrible.
George 'Mac' McGuire: You said it. Now we gotta re-write the last six episodes!
See more »

Connections

References The Perils of Pauline (1914) See more »

Soundtracks

Poppa, Don't Preach To Me
(1947) (uncredited)
Written by Frank Loesser
Sung by Betty Hutton at her Paris nightclub
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Any movie with Betty Hutton in it is worth watching.
11 January 2004 | by opsbooksSee all my reviews

Don't expect ‘The Perils of Pauline' to cast much truth on the real Pearl White. In line with similar movies of the period, it's entertainment first and truth a distant second. What you do get is the irrepressible Betty Hutton, a kind of female Mickey Rooney. You also get Billy DeWolfe and William Demarest and those three make this movie worth the price of admission. Betty may bear a resemblance to other blondes of the period but it would take a hard hearted viewer not to like her. She's that kind of girl and rarely has an actress worked so hard in a part.

There are some good scenes; the movie factory gets my vote. This has been done both before and since but rarely so effectively. Bill Demarest overacts superbly as her manager, as does Billy DeWolfe as her best pal. The weak link is John Lund. Okay, maybe he's supposed to be that way. I just didn't think he was effective. The movie falls away in the last third but despite that, it's worth viewing. Betty belts out ‘I Wish I Didn't Love Him So' but it's not a particularly memorable song from Frank Loesser.

Five years after this movie, Betty would walk out on her Paramount contract and destroy her career. Like a number of memorable actresses of the great studio period, her star burnt brightly before going out forever. If you see her name in a cast list, on a movie long-forgotten, don't miss it.


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