From their heyday in the 1910s to their lingering demise in the 1950s, American film serials delivered excitement in weekly installments for millions of moviegoers, despite minuscule budgets, nearly impossible shooting schedules and the disdain of critics. Early heroines like Pearl White, Helen Holmes and Ruth Roland broke gender barriers and ruled the screen. Through both world wars, such serials as Spy Smasher and Batman were vehicles for propaganda. Smash hits like Flash Gordon and The Lone Ranger demonstrated the enduring mass appeal of the genre. Providing insight into early 20th century American culture, this book analyzes four decades of productions from Pathé, Universal, Mascot and Columbia, and all 66 Republic serials.
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