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The Perils of Pauline (1947)

Approved | | Biography, Comedy, Musical | 4 July 1947 (USA)
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

Filmed during the first few months of 1946, but not released until summer 1947. See more »

Goofs

In real life, after sustaining a back injury as a result of an accident while filming The Perils of Pauline, Pearl White used a stunt-double, although this was never publicized until after he himself died as a result of an accident during the making of Plunder, at which time the truth came out, and Pearl retired from films and moved to Paris, where she died in 1938 as a result of a liver ailment, alcoholism and drugs. In the film, Pearl's accident occurs on the Paris stage after her film career was over, and we are led to believe that now, unable to walk, she lived happily ever after with her fictitious husband. See more »

Quotes

George 'Mac' McGuire: [on learning that the war is over] How do you like that? Everything happens to me! I just get the war going good, and now they they call it off! Get the writers. We gotta write the war out.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

I Wish I Didn't Love You So
(1947) (uncredited)
Written by Frank Loesser
Played during the opening credits and often as background music
Sung by Betty Hutton at Millick's
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not The Genuine Pearl
19 September 2009 | by bkoganbingSee 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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