"Perils of Pauline", 1914 -- cliff-hanger or not?

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Feb 8 20:45:16 UTC 2014

More than once I have seen a sequence where Pauline was indeed hanging by
her fingernails from the edge of a cliff.

I don't know whether it was at the end of an episode or not.

Have I already suggested the possibility that the early use of
"cliff-hanger" to refer to Western serials came not directly from "The
Perils of Pauline" but from some copy-cat scene in a more modern adventure?


On Sat, Feb 8, 2014 at 2:17 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      "Perils of Pauline", 1914 -- cliff-hanger or not?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Where might I find information (some movie email list?) documenting
> whether the 1914 "Perils of Pauline" film serial was or was not a
> "cliff-hanger" -- that is, ended episodes with Pauline in peril, or
> resolved the peril before the end of the episode?
> Wikipedia's "Perils of Pauline (1914 serial)" article says it was not
> a cliff-hanger (no reference given).  But its "Cliff-hanger" article
> says yes, specifically for an episode filmed around the Palisades
> where Pauline was literally left dangling (one source cited, which I
> am following up).
> Jon wrote on Jan 21 "Word to wise: just because Pearl White dangled
> from a cliff around 1915 doesn't mean the phrase was coined at that
> time," so perhaps he knows the answer.  (The original episodes may no
> longer be extant.)
> Joel
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