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Watch now. The problems girls face serial the unisex environment of a convent school are revealed in a series of vignettes. Tom returns to his hometown on serial tenth anniversary of the Valentine's night massacre that claimed the lives of 22 people. Instead of a homecoming, Tom finds himself suspected of committing the murders, and it seems like his old flame is sex only one that believes he's innocent. A gangster named Bumpy Johnson makes his way in Harlem during the s.
The origin story of Alfred Pennyworth, a former special-forces kino living in London and how he came to work kino Bruce Wayne's father.
Kimberly, Perla, sex Vanessa move to Doll City to attend the Doll city Academy and learn that what's most important in life is not what they have but who they are. Unprotected Sets presents a compelling portrait of a stand-up on the verge of breaking out to become the next big name in comedy. A love triangle between a woman, her husband, serial her past which takes a new look at female identity and desire. Voyeuristic documentary series about titillatingsexual kino erotic experiences.
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Serial Sex are some of the earliest forms of film during the silent era through to eex s, often episodic in form usually with sxe and simplistic in plot, that were shown over a period of weeks or years. The multi-part films consisted of episodes that could be anywhere between fifteen and twenty minutes in length. The segments were presented one chapter at a time in weekly installments over the course of time.
Serials were usually included during the shorts projected in a neighborhood movie theatre, offered before the feature film, B-western, or Saturday afternoon 'kiddie' matinee.
Serials would generally include attractive heroines, action heroes, and villains the Scorpion, the Dragon, and the Spider, to name a few in melodramatic sequences that often ended with a suspenseful sex manipulative cliffhanger ending - that promised to be continued the sex week to bring the ticket-buying audience back for more.
The heroes and heroines would courageously fight for justice and honor, and the diabolical villains with kijo devices would struggle against them. Action sequences would predominate with sex, jumps off buildings or trains, terrifying falls, narrow escapes, fist-fights, close calls and hair-raising situations, and other exciting, death-defying stunts, involving runaway trains, fires, sawmills, other natural disasters, and explosions.
In all serials, the truth was often exaggerated or stretched in order to keep the hero alive from week to week. In modern times, Hollywood studios have borrowed the lucrative idea of using cliffhangers serial serialized installment plans or serial stories for their largely self-contained epics, e. These are not pure serials, but stand-alone, full-length movies with many chapters, volumes, or parts, and exciting serial-like sequences.
Many modern-day soap operas and well-known TV series, such as Lost in Space and the soapish Dallashave used the cliffhanger ending as enticement to tune in again. There was a parallel tradition of serials both in the United States and sxe Europe. Serial Europe, the motion picture serial was a close relative to today's TV series, with longer, self-contained episodes or segments.
France, with pioneering auteur director Louis Feuillade, provided several magnificent serial plays, including the five-part Fantomas France serial, the influential seria masterpiece Les Vampires France with Musidora as villainous Irma Vep, the episode Judex Franceand Tih Minh France. Germany contributed the popular six-episode silent serial Homunculus Germany. Also, in the s, Fritz Lang made the following two silent films in two-parts: the crime thriller Dr. The first Zerial serial was sex groundbreaking reel What Kinl to Mary?
Edison's Company, that starred Mary Kino the first true serial queenand was released concurrently with the serial story "What Happened to Mary? Each film chapter was released simultaneously with the corresponding story in the magazine, one story per month, beginning July 26th, The series was followed with the six-episode Who Will Marry Mary?
The most popular stars of first serials were female, many of whom were western figures or action heroines. Over sixty serial-queen melodramas were released between and From toSx Lester portrayed Calamity Anne in a series sed comic westerns. The episode action serial The Adventures of Kathlynconsidered by some to kijo the first true American serial, produced by Selig, starred blonde actress Kathlyn Williams - its first episode was released on December 29, Harold Sex novel The Adventures of Kathlyn was published in early - it was the first novel based on a movie -- with stills from derial film, and was concurrently sold in bookstores.
Pearl White as Pauline in Peril:. The most famous star of the silent serials was Pearl White. The silent serial queen was an early star in a lengthy series of films, beginning with the well-known, multi-chaptered, much-celebrated, archetypal play The Perils of Pauline - originally 20 episodes in length but many have since been lostand now existing as a condensed 9-episode version.
The daring, athletic and active female star performed some aex the riskiest, hair-raising stunts in her films on the side of a cliff, in a runaway balloon, in a burning house, etc.
Her most famous stunt was reportedly in this serial - in which she was tied to railroad tracks and had to be rescued from a speeding, rapidly-approaching train. More famously, a year earlier in kino, Mabel Normand was tied to train tracks and cried out for rescue in the Keystone comedy Barney Oldfield's Race for a Lifeand the scene was also enacted in Mack Sennett's Teddy at the Throttle Following her success inWhite was also featured the next year in an immensely popular and successful 3-part series of 'Elaine' films:.
Then, the indefatigable star made six more, low-budget serials containing between 15 and 20 chapters each over the next four serial. Pearl White's final American serial kino the chapter Plunder Ford was an actor before serving an apprenticeship as a director and actor for Thomas Ince in kino early s.
Inhe transferred to Universal. And Universal star Marie Walcamp starred in a series of "spur and saddle" tales in as the western character Tempest Cody e. One of the longest running serials was the melodramatic, episode The Hazards of Helen from the Kalem Film Manufacturing Company, which played from to The scene of a heroine awaiting rescue while tied to railroad tracks with a runaway train approaching, was derived from this serial.
Four studios, including several independent ones, were responsible for producing most of the serials during the sound era: Mascot, Universal, Columbia, and Republic, while major kino such as MGM, Fox, Warners, and Paramount declined to produce sound serials.
Released as a silent film with talking sequences, Mascot Pictures Corporation's first serial, the episode The King of the Kongostarring Walter Miller, was a big success. Jungle and aviator adventure serials were also serial. Famed animal trainer Clyde Beatty encountered the dangers of the jungles of Africa in Republic's chapter serial The Serial Jungle and in the episode Darkest Africa One of the best jungle serials was the part Jungle Girlbased on kion Edgar Rice Burroughs novel and starring Frances Gifford in her sole appearance in a serial.
A submarine voyage to the underwater world of Atlantis was featured in the chapter fantasy The Undersea Kingdom William Desmond appeared in Universal's chapter aviator serial Tailspin Kino - the first serial based on a comic strip. Mascot's Mystery Squadron with exciting aerial stunts and fights starred cowboy Bob Steele who was battling a seriql aviator-pirate villain known as "The Black Ace.
Republic's chapter serial action film Fighting Devil Dogs featured a villain named the Lightning. Westerns became the staple subject matter for serials and many feature-length films for the first full decade after the coming of sound.
Buck Jones, a western star in the s during the silent era, was demoted to low-budget pictures and serials once talkies emerged. He starred in 19 westerns for Columbia from toand then in 22 westerns for Universal from to Jones' best known chapter cliffhanger serials for Universal included:. Another major western serial star and star of B-grade westerns during the 30s and 40s was Johnny Mack Brown who found himself turning to small-scale serials - and to low-budget westerns for smaller independent studios such as Mascot, Supreme Pictures, and Monogram after appearing in MGM's semi-successful, big-budget feature film Billy the Kid based on the saga by Walter Noble Burns with director King Vidor.
He starred in 16 low-budget pictures for Supreme Pictures in the mid-to-late s before going to Universal. Some of his more notable werial films included the chapter serial Fighting with Kit Carsonthe chapter Flaming Frontiersand the chapter The Oregon Trail Tom Mix was also one of the great American cowboy super-stars as producer, actor, and director.
Ken Maynard experienced a short career as a western star in the silent era, marked by trick riding on his horse named Tarzan. Seriaal action-packed silent westerns included Senor DaredevilRed Raiders and Cheyenne His career faded into the 40s, although he was well-known for his role in In Old Santa Fe In the late 30s and early 40s, legendary B-movie cowboy Tim McCoy, was famous for sdx serials in which he portrayed the 'Lightning Bill Carson' character in the late 30s, and a lawman named 'Trigger Tim' in the early 40s.
He also co-starred in second-billing along with western hero Buck Jones in the early s in the low-budget series of eight feature-length western films known as The Rough Ridersuntil the series ended with Jones dying in a nightclub fire at the Cocoanut Grove in Boston in Nov. King of the Texas Rangers similarly was an adventure serial about the Texas Rangers. Monogram Pictures continued with another string of eight B-westerns from :.
The first "Lord of the Jungle" was actor Elmo Lincoln - he started the trend in during the silent era with Tarzan of the Apes There were a couple of s Tarzan silent serials: the chapter serial The Adventures of Tarzan with Elmo Lincoln, the chapter serial Tarzan the Mightyand the chapter serial Kino the Tiger It was released in two forms: 1 as a chapter serial and 2 as a feature-length film.
It was issued as both a low-budget serial and as a minute serlal that starred Olympic decathlon medalist champion Herman Brix aka Bruce Bennett. Herman Brix was Edgar Rice Burroughs' personal choice to play the ape man.
It was later re-edited, and reissued as Tarzan and The Green Goddess Soon-to-be-famous actors and prominent real-life heroes were also featured in serials. And Lugosi appeared as evil Dr. Zorka in the episode serial The Phantom Creeps He appeared in the chapter The Hurricane Expressand the episode Shadow of the Eagle as a daredevil skywriter for a carnival. A episode serial The Galloping Ghost starred real-life football great Harold 'Red' Grange as a college football star.
All rights reserved. Filmsite: written by Tim Dirks. Search for:. Facebook Twitter. Serials in Europe: There was a parallel tradition of serials both in the United States and in Europe. Following her success inWhite was also featured the next year in an immensely popular and successful 3-part series of 'Elaine' films: the chapter The Exploits of Elainebattling a madman villain named the "Clutching Hand" the episode The New Exploits of Elainebattling evil Chinese opium dealers - and a new villain named Wu Fang the part The Romance of Elainebattling master criminal Doctor X Then, the indefatigable star made six more, low-budget serials containing between 15 and 20 chapters each over the next four years: The Iron Claw Pearl of the Army The Fatal Ring The House of Hate The Lightning Raider The Black Secret Pearl White's final American serial was the chapter Plunder Jungle and Aviator Adventure Serial Jungle and aviator adventure serials were also popular.
Western Serials: Westerns became the staple subject matter for kino and many feature-length films for the first full decade after the coming of sound. Jones' best known chapter sex serials for Universal included: The Red Rideran adaptation of W. Actors and Kink Heroes in Serials: Soon-to-be-famous actors and prominent real-life heroes were also featured in serials.
Arizona Bound Down Sex Way The Gunman from Bodie Riders of the West kino Forbidden Trails West of the Law Below the Border Dawn on the Great Divide unofficial. Ghost Town Law
Some of the most notorious or infamous films are quite mediocre, usually made as an excuse to display nudity or eroticism of a star performer. Please do not proceed any further if you are not interested in this kind of material.
Brief Historical Overview Reference Introduction. All rights reserved. Filmsite: written by Tim Dirks. There would often be a female love interest of the male hero, or a female hero herself, but as the audience was mainly children, there was no hugging and kissing. In , Republic introduced the "economy episode" or "recap chapter" in which the characters summarize or reminisce about their adventures, so as to introduce showing those scenes again in the manner of a clip show in modern television.
This type of episode usually had a cheap, mechanical cliffhanger, like a time bomb rather than being unconscious in a runaway vehicle. The beginning of each chapter would bring the story up to date by repeating the last few minutes of the previous chapter, and then revealing how the main character escaped. Often the reprised scene would add an element not seen in the previous close, but unless it contradicted something shown previously, audiences accepted the explanation.
On rare occasions the filmmakers would depend on the audience not remembering details of the previous week's chapter, using alternate outcomes that did not exactly match the previous episode's cliffhanger. The last episode was sometimes a bit longer than most, for its tasks were to unmask the head villain who usually was someone completely unsuspected , wrap up the loose ends, and end with a triumphal proclamation, followed by a joke — and sometimes a kiss provided that the story supplied a heroine to receive it.
The major studios had their own retinues of actors and writers, their own prop departments, existing sets, stock footage, and music libraries. The early independent studios had none of these, except for being able to rent the sets of independent producers of western features.
The firms saved money by reusing the same cliffhangers, stunt and special effect sequences over the years. Mines or tunnels flooded often, even in Flash Gordon , and the same model cars and trains went off the same cliffs and bridges. Republic had a Packard limousine and a Ford Woodie station wagon used in serial after serial so they could match the shots with the stock footage from the model or previous stunt driving. Three different serials had them chasing the Art Deco sound truck, required for location shooting, for various reasons.
Male fistfighters all wore hats so that the change from actor to stunt double would not be caught so easily. A rubber liner on the hatband of the stuntman's fedora would make a seal on the stuntman's head, so the hat would stay on during fight scenes.
Exposition of what led up to the previous episode's cliffhanger was usually displayed on placards with a photograph of one of the characters on it. In , Universal brought the first "scrolling text" exposition to the serial, which George Lucas first used in Star Wars in and then in all of the following Star Wars films. As this would have required subcontracting the optical effects, Republic saved money by not using it. Universal had been making serials since the s, and continued to service its loyal neighborhood-theater customers with four serials annually.
Epic footage from this western serial turned up again and again in later serials and features. In Universal scored a coup by licensing the popular comic-strip character Flash Gordon for the screen; the serial was a smash hit, and was even booked into first-run theaters that usually did not bother with chapter plays.
Universal was more story-conscious than the other studios, and cast its serials with "name" actors recognizable from feature films: Lon Chaney, Jr. The serial Gang Busters is perhaps the best of Universal's urban serials; Universal often cannibalized it for future cliffhangers. Don Winslow of the Navy may exemplify Universal's best war-themed chapterplay. The studio's reliance on stock footage for the big action scenes was certainly economical, but it often hurt the overall quality of the films.
When the studio reorganized as Universal-International, it shut down most of the production units, including the serial crew. Universal's last serial was The Mysterious Mr. M Republic was the successor to Mascot Pictures , a serial specialist. Writers and directors were already geared to staging exciting films, and Republic improved on Mascot, adding music to underscore the action, and staging more elaborate stunts.
Republic was one of Hollywood's smaller studios, but its serials have been hailed as some of the best, especially those directed by John English and William Witney. In addition to solid screenwriting that many critics thought was quite accomplished, the firm also introduced choreographed fistfights, which often included the stuntmen usually the ones portraying the villains, never the heroes throwing things in desperation at one another in every fight to heighten the action.
Republic serials are noted for outstanding special effects, such as large-scale explosions and demolitions, and the more fantastic visuals like Captain Marvel and Rocketman flying. Most of the trick scenes were engineered by Howard and Theodore Lydecker. Republic was able to get the rights to the newspaper comic character Dick Tracy , the radio character The Lone Ranger , and the comic book characters Captain America , Captain Marvel , and Spy Smasher.
Republic's serial scripts were written by a team of up to seven writers. By Republic had amassed an impressive backlog of action highlights, which were cleverly re-edited into later serials to save money. Most of the studio's serials of the s were written by only one man, Ronald Davidson —Davidson had produced many serials.
Republic's last serial was King of the Carnival , a reworking of 's Daredevils of the Red Circle using some of its footage. Columbia made several serials using its own staff and facilities — and — , but usually subcontracted its serial production to outside producers: the Weiss Brothers — , Larry Darmour — , and Sam Katzman — Columbia built many serials around name-brand heroes.
From newspaper comics, they got Terry and the Pirates , Mandrake the Magician , The Phantom , and Brenda Starr, Reporter ; from the comic books, Blackhawk , Congo Bill , time traveler Brick Bradford , and Batman and Superman although this last owed more to its radio incarnation , which the credits acknowledged ; from radio, Jack Armstrong and Hop Harrigan ; from the hero pulp characters like The Spider two serials: The Spider's Web and The Spider Returns and The Shadow despite also being a very popular radio series ; from the British novelist Edgar Wallace , the first archer-superhero, The Green Archer; and even from television: Captain Video.
Columbia's early serials were very well received by audiences—exhibitors voted The Spider's Web the number-one serial of the year. Former silent-serial director James W. Horne co-directed The Spider's Web , and his work secured him a permanent position in Columbia's serial unit.
Horne had been a comedy specialist in the s, often working with Laurel and Hardy , and most of his Columbia serials are played tongue-in-cheek, with exaggerated villainy and improbable heroics the hero takes on six men in a fistfight and wins. After Horne's death in , the studio's serial output was somewhat more sober, but still aimed primarily at the juvenile audience.
Batman was quite popular, and Superman was phenomenally successful. Spencer Gordon Bennet , another silent-serial veteran, directed most of the later Columbia serials. His western-themed efforts were suitably accomplished, but Columbia cut corners in every respect until the quality of the serials suffered. Columbia also used cartoon animation instead of more expensive special effects with its science-fictional serials. By the s Columbia serials were low-budget affairs, consisting mostly of action scenes and cliffhanger endings from older productions, and even employing the same actors for new scenes tying the old footage together.
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A serial film, film serial or just serialmovie serial or chapter play, is serial motion picture form popular during the first half of the 20th century, consisting of a series of short subjects exhibited in consecutive order at one theater, generally advancing weekly, until the series is completed.
Serial, each serial involves a single set of characters, protagonistic and antagonistic, involved in a single story, which has been edited into chapters after the fashion of serial fiction and the episodes cannot be shown out of order or as a single or a random collection of short subjects.
Each chapter was screened at a movie theater for one week, and ended with a cliffhangerin which characters found themselves in perilous situations with little apparent chance of escape. Viewers had to return each week to see the cliffhangers resolved and to follow the continuing story.
Movie serials were especially popular with children, and for many youths in the first half of the 20th century a typical Saturday matinee at the movies included at least one chapter of a serial, along with animated cartoonsnewsreelsand two feature films. There were films covering many genres, including crime fictionespionage, comic book or comic strip characters, science fiction, and jungle adventures. Many serials were Westernssince those were the least expensive sex film.
Although most serials were filmed economically, some were made at significant expense. The Flash Gordon serial and its sequels, for instance, were major kino in their times. Serials were action-packed stories that usually involved a hero or heroes battling an evil villain and rescuing damsel in distress. The villain would continually place the hero into inescapable deathtraps, or the heroine would be placed into a deathtrap and the hero would come to her rescue.
The hero and heroine would face one trap after another, battling countless thugs and lackeys, before finally defeating the villain. The silent era was the zenith of the movie serial. Another popular serial was the episode The Hazards of Helen made by Kalem Studios and starring Helen Holmes for the first forty-eight episodes then Helen Gibson for the remainder.
Other major studios of the silent era, such as Vitagraph and Essanay Studiosproduced serials, as did Warner Bros. Several independent kino for example, Mascot Pictures made Western serials. Four silent Tarzan kino were also made. Serials were a popular form of movie entertainment dating back to Edison's What Happened to Mary of There appear to be older serials, however, kino as the Deutsche Vitaskop 5 episode Arsene Lupin Contra Sherlock Holmesbased upon the Maurice LeBlanc novel,  and a possible but unconfirmed Raffles serial in Years after their first release, serials gained new life at "Saturday Matinees", theatrical showings on Saturday mornings aimed directly at children.
For that reason, serials are sometimes called "Saturday Matinee Serials", even though they were originally shown with feature films. The arrival of sound technology made it costlier to produce serials, so that they were no longer as profitable on a flat rental basis. Further, the Great Depression made it impossible for many of the smaller companies that produced serials to upgrade to sound, and they went out of business.
Only one serial specialty company, Mascot Picturestransitioned from silent to sound filmmaking. Universal Pictures also kept its serial unit alive through the transition. In the early s a handful of independent companies tried their hand at making serials, including the once-prolific Weiss Brothers.
The Weisses bought a little time when Columbia Pictures decided to take a try at serials, and contracted with them as Adventure Serials Inc. They were successful enough that Columbia then established its own serial unit and the Weisses essentially disappeared from the serial scene. This was inand Columbia was probably inspired by the previous year's serial blockbuster success at Universal, Flash Gordonthe first serial ever to play at a major theater on Broadway ; and by the success of that same year of kino newly created Republic Pictureswhich dedicated itself to a program of serials and westerns, eschewing major productions in their favor.
The creation of Republic involved the absorption of Mascot Picturesso that byserial production was now in the hands of three sex only — Universal, Columbia, and Republic, with Republic quickly becoming the acknowledged leader in quality serial product. Each company turned out four to five serials per year, of 12 to 15 episodes each, a pace they all kept up until the end of World War II when, inUniversal dropped its serial unit along with its B-picture unit and sex its production department Universal-International Pictures.
Republic and Columbia continued unchallenged, with about four serials per year each, Republic fixing theirs at 12 chapters each while Columbia fixed at fifteen.
By the mids, however, episodic television series and the sale of older serials to TV syndicators by all the current and past major sound serial serial, together with the loss of audience attendance at Saturday matinees in general, made serial-making a losing proposition.
There have been several posts serial at reviving or recalling cliffhanger serials, by both fans and professional studios, and serials were often spoofed in cartoons of the s.
In the early days of television in the United Sex, movie serials were often broadcast, one chapter a day, and in the late s and s, they were often revived on BBC television in the United Kingdom. The popular Indiana Jones movies are a well-known, romantic pastiche of the serials' plot elements and devices.
An early attempt at a low-budget Western serial, filmed serial color, was entitled The Silver Avenger. One or two chapters exist of this effort on 16mm film but it is not known whether the serial was ever completed. The best-known fan-made chapter play is the four-chapter, silent 16mm Captain Celluloid vs. The plot involved a masked villain named The Master Duper, one of three members of a Film Commission who attempts to acquire the only known prints of various lost nitrate films, and the heroic Captain Celluloid, who wears a costume reminiscent of that of the Black Commando in Columbia Pictures' serial The Secret Code and is determined to uncover him.
Roles kino the serial are played by, among others, film historians and serial fans Alan Barbour and William K. In serial s, serial fan Blackie Seymour shot a complete chapter serial called The Return of the Copperhead.
Seymour's only daughter, who operated the camera at the age of 8, attests that as of the serial was indeed filmed but the raw sex remains in cans, unedited.
A second ten-chapter serial, The Dangers of Deborah, in which a female reporter and a criminologist fight to uncover the identity of a mysterious villain named The Terror, was released by Cliffhanger Productions in InLamb4 Productions created its own homage to the film serials of the s with its kino serial titled "Wildcat.
This eight-chapter serial was based heavily on popular super hero serials such as "Batman sex Robin," "Captain America," and "The Adventures of Captain Marvel. The serial format was used with stories on the original run of The Mickey Mouse Club —58with each chapter running about six to ten minutes.
In England, in the s and 60s, low-budget six-chapter serials such as Dusty Bates and Masters of Venus were released theatrically, but these were not particularly well-regarded or remembered.
The greatest number of serialized television programs to feature any single character were those made featuring The Doctorthe BBC character introduced kino Doctor Who serials would run anywhere from 3 to 12 episodes and were shown in weekly segments, as had been the original theatrical cliffhangers. Doctor Who was syndicated in the US as early asbut did not gain a following in America until the mids when episodes featuring Tom Baker reached its shores.
The s cartoon show Adventures of Rocky serial Bullwinkle included two serial-style episodes per program. These spoofed the cliffhanger serial form. Within the Rocky and Bullwinke show, the recurring but non-serialized Dudley Do-Rightspecifically parodied the damsel in distress Nell Fenwick being tied to railroad tracks by arch villain Snidely Whiplash and rescued by the noble but clueless Dudley.
Danger Islanda multi-part story in underminute episodes, was shown on the Saturday morning Banana Splits program in the late s. Episodes were short, full of wild action and usually ended on a cliffhanger. This serial was directed by Richard Donner and featured the first African American action hero in a chapter play.
The violence present in most of the episodes, though much of it was deliberately comical and would not be considered shocking today, also raised concerns at a time when violence in children's TV was at issue. On February 27,NBC broadcast the first episode of an hour-long weekly television series Cliffhangers!
Sex final episodes were shot, the series was canceled and the last program aired on May 1, before all of the serials could conclude; only The Curse of Dracula was resolved. InDark Horse Indie films, through Image Entertainment, released a 6-chapter serial parody called Monarch of the Moon, detailing the adventures of a hero named the Yellow Jacket, who could control Yellow Jackets with his voice, battled "Japbots", and traveled to the moon.
The end credits promised a second serial, Commie Commandos From Mars. Dark Horse attempted to promote the release as a just-found, never-before-released serial made inbut suppressed by the US Government. The popular term cliffhanger was developed as a plot device in film serials though its origins have been traced by some historians to the Sherlock Holmes stories of Arthur Conan Doyle or the earlier A Pair of Blue Eyes by Thomas Hardy fromand it comes from serial many times that the hero or heroine would end up hanging over a cliff, usually as the villain gloated above and waited for them to plummet hundreds of metres to their deaths.
The classic sound serial, particularly in its Republic format, has a first episode of about 30 minutes approximately three reels in length and begins with reports of a masked, secret, or unsuspected villain menacing an unspecific part of America. This episode traditionally has the most detailed credits at the beginning, often with pictures of the actors with their names and that of the character they play.
Often there follows a montage of scenes lifted from the cliffhangers of previous serials to depict the ways in which the master criminal was a serial killer with a motive. In the first episode, various suspects or "candidates" who may, in secret, be this villain are presented, and the viewer often hears the voice but does not see the face of this sex commanding his "lead villain", similar to a sergeant, whom the serial sees in just about every episode.
In the succeeding weeks usually 11 to 14 thereafter, an episode nearly 20 minutes approximately two reels in length was presented, in which the "lead villain" and lesser thugs commit crimes in various places, fight the hero, and trap someone to make the ending a cliffhanger. Many of the episodes have clues, dialogue, and events leading the viewer to think that any of the candidates were the mastermind. As serials were made by writing the whole script first and then slicing it into portions filmed at various sites, often the same location would be used several times in the serial, often given different signage, or none at all, just being referred to differently.
There would often be a female love interest of the male hero, or a female hero herself, but sex the audience was mainly children, there was no hugging and kissing. InRepublic introduced the "economy episode" or "recap chapter" in which the characters summarize or reminisce about their adventures, so as to introduce showing those scenes again in the manner of a clip show in modern television.
This type of episode usually had a cheap, mechanical cliffhanger, like a time bomb rather than being unconscious in a runaway vehicle. The beginning of each chapter would bring the story up to date by repeating the last few minutes of the previous chapter, and then revealing how the main character escaped.
Often the reprised scene would add an element not seen in the previous close, but unless it contradicted something shown previously, audiences accepted the explanation. On rare occasions the filmmakers would depend on the audience not remembering details of the previous week's chapter, using alternate outcomes serial did not exactly match the previous episode's cliffhanger. The last episode was sometimes a bit longer than most, for its tasks were to unmask the head villain who usually was someone completely unsuspectedwrap up the loose ends, and end with a triumphal proclamation, followed by a joke — and sometimes a kiss provided that the story supplied a heroine to receive it.
The major studios had their own retinues of actors and writers, their own prop departments, existing sets, stock footage, and music kino. The early independent studios had none of these, except for being able to rent the sets of independent producers of western features. The firms saved money sex reusing the same cliffhangers, stunt and special effect sequences over the years. Mines or tunnels flooded often, even in Flash Gordonand the same model cars and trains went off the sex cliffs and bridges.
Republic had a Packard limousine and a Ford Woodie station wagon used in serial after serial so they could match the shots with the stock footage from the model or previous stunt driving.
Three different serials had them chasing the Art Deco sound truck, required for location shooting, for various reasons. Male fistfighters all wore hats so that the change from actor to stunt double would not be caught so easily. A rubber liner on the hatband of kino stuntman's fedora would make a seal on the stuntman's head, so the hat would stay on during fight scenes. Exposition of what led up to the previous episode's cliffhanger was usually displayed on placards with a photograph of one of the characters kino it.
InUniversal brought the first "scrolling text" exposition to the serial, which George Lucas first used in Star Wars in and then in all of the following Star Wars films. As this would have required subcontracting the optical effects, Republic saved money by not using it. Universal had been making serials since the s, and continued to service its loyal neighborhood-theater customers with four serials annually.
Epic footage from this western serial turned up again and again in later serials and features. In Universal scored a coup by licensing the popular comic-strip character Flash Gordon for the screen; the serial was a smash hit, and was even booked into first-run theaters that usually did not bother with chapter plays.
Universal was more story-conscious than the other studios, and cast its serials with "name" actors recognizable from feature films: Lon Chaney, Jr. The serial Gang Busters is perhaps the serial of Universal's urban serials; Universal often cannibalized it for future cliffhangers. Don Winslow of the Navy may exemplify Universal's best war-themed chapterplay. The studio's reliance on stock footage for the big action scenes was certainly economical, but it often hurt the overall quality of the films.
When the studio reorganized as Universal-International, it shut down most of the production units, including the serial crew. Universal's last serial was The Mysterious Mr. M
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