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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pearl White "The Perils of Pauline" (1914 & 1947) Betty Hutton

Pearl White The Perils of Pauline (1914)

Pearl White ... Pauline
Crane Wilbur ... Harry Marvin
Paul Panzer ... Koerner/Raymond Owen
Edward José ... Sanford Marvin
Francis Carlyle ... Owen's Henchman, Hicks
Clifford Bruce ... Gypsy Leader
Donald MacKenzie ... Blinky Bill
Jack Standing ... Ensign Summers
Eleanor Woodruff ... Lucille

Directed by Louis J. Gasnier & Donald MacKenzie

Original Score by Brian Pinette

9 Chapters

Trial by Fire
The Goddess of the Far West
The Pirate Treasure
The Deadly Turning
A Watery Doom
The Shattered Plane
The Tragic Plunge
The Serpent in the Flowers
The Floating Coffin

This groundbreaking episodic serial (originally extended to 20 weeks from the original 13) was the first wildly successful American continued-story serial and influenced many more made in the next decade. Every two weeks Pauline (Pearl White) evaded different murderous attempts on her life. She survives the plots of her dastardly guardian Koerner (Paul Panzer) who wants her inherited fortune for himself and will stop at nothing to get it. The episodes are self-contained but each contains a new cliffhanging peril -- a giant rolling boulder (yep, Pauline was way ahead of Indiana Jones), a deadly balloon, etc., for Pauline to escape. A must for every serious serial collector's library.

Note: This DVD presents the 9-episode version of the serial released in Europe, as found on 9.5mm film, and is an english "re-translation" of the only version of the serial known to exist, so picture quality is less than should be expected of transfers made from 16mm or 35mm prints, but it's still pretty good.

The Perils of Pauline (1947) Betty Hutton

A musical film released by Paramount Pictures. It is a fictionalized Hollywood account of silent film star Pearl White's rise to fame starring Betty Hutton as White.

The film, a broad satire of silent-movie production, is a musical-comedy vehicle for Hutton, filmed in Technicolor, with original songs by Frank Loesser (including the standards "I Wish I Didn't Love You So" and "Rumble, Rumble, Rumble"). The script portrays "Pearl" as an ambitious hoyden who rises from amateur-night vaudeville to silent-screen stardom.

The film also stars William Demarest, Frank Faylen, Constance Collier, Billy DeWolfe and John Lund & was directed by George Marshall.

Paul Panzer, who played the villain in the 1914 film, has a very small part in this film, as do silent-comedy veterans Chester Conklin, Hank Mann, Snub Pollard, and James Finlayson.

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