Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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The Perils of Pauline: Trial by Fire

The Perils of Pauline, as I mentioned in a previous post, is a seminal movie cliffhanger serial from 1914, directed by Louis J. Gasnier and Donald MacKenzie, and starring Pearl White, Crane Wilbur and Paul Panzer.

Only 9 episodes of the original run of 20 survive today1, and here’s the first – Trial by Fire.
The quality is not very high and I personally find the soundtrack unnerving, but what to say… Enjoy!

In 2008 The Perils of Pauline was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”


  1. the nine-parts version is actually a recut of the original 20-episodes 


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Looking for Pauline

MTE4MDAzNDEwNzI0NDIzMTgySome things start just like that…
Despite my very busy schedule, I’m going to try and track me down a copy of The Perils of Pauline, the 1914 serial featuring Pearl White (I guess that was not her true name1).
Fact is, you see, I’ve been told in detail how movie serials were a phenomenon in ’40s and ’50s American cinema, by yet another expert that apparently failed to check out Wikipedia to get the full story.
I heard that and thought… but what of Pauline?2

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Sheila and the Dragon Lady

Sometimes a photograph is enough.

It started with the wonderful – and costly! – reprints of Milton Caniff‘s Terry & the Pirates strips.
A classic of exotic adventure, a masterpiece of comic art.
Considering the extravagant price tags observed in the local “friendly” comicbooks store, I was thrawling through the web looking for cheaper deals.

The web being what it is, I soon found the Columbia Terry & the Pirates serial from 1940 – which is available in streaming through YouTube.

And in the movie serial Terry, there’s the Dragon Lady.
And she looks like this.

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As I said, a photograph is often enough.
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