The Perils of Pauline

Trial by Fire

She won’t marry Harry until she’s had “a life of excitement and adventure.”

Her guardian, Harry’s father, places her under the protection of his own personal secretary, an ex-convict and crook.

Pauline has a “vast inheritance”.

A well-worn print has lacunæ but its tintings, for the most part.

Harry inherits, the secretary tends Pauline’s fortune.

Why not kill her?

The Palisade balloon ascension, a runaway horse, what American women are made of, a cliffside rescue, further attempts, Harry’s heroism.

Pauline kidnapped and tied up in an abandoned house inadvertently set ablaze.

The secretary calls the police to report a missing person, Pauline and Harry traipse in, bedraggled.

The Goddess of the Far West

Double Cross Ranch, Rockvale, Montana, Pauline in retirement from public attention.

“An hour afterwards.”

Pauline is seized by hirelings and placed in a hole in the wall, a rock wall.

The legendary work no longer exists in complete form, we are assured, not even the titles, but only a French cut wrought back into English, badly.

A Sioux fox hunt shows her the way out (and Powell & Pressburger Gone to Earth).

Harry, tied up on Fifth Avenue with business, finally takes the Western Express.

Pauline and the tribe, “a fair goddess”, foretold to rise from the earth and lead a victorious war party.

“Three days later,” one of the great gaffs, Pauline is “subjected to the ordeal which should reveal her immoral strength” (Vadim profits from this loss in Barbarella).

Silverstein has some savor of this in Cat Ballou. “Let her destiny be fulfilled!”

Buster Keaton remembers the pursuing rock one way and another.

The Pirate Treasure

Playing on her susceptibilities, Pauline is told of a far-off island with buried treasure. Harry withdraws.

An ancient cabin boy tells the tale “ day those drunken sots decided to throw me overboard...”

Harry does his very best to keep up, marooned by the secretary. He signs on as expedition cook in disguise and is found out.

Why not kill him, too?

“What is that ticking I hear?”

The Deadly Turning

Pauline enters an automobile race. Blake Edwards, The Great Race.

“The day of the great race.”

A Watery Doom

“We could get rid of her easily, but her fiancé is always barging in to save her.”

The secretary in cahoots with “the leader of a band of gypsies.”

A subterranean chamber. The river.

The secretary is at home in the great house reading a book, he rises to greet “the happy lovers.”

The gypsies disguised as firemen.

It wasn’t a fire destroyed Langlois’ Musée du Cinéma, it was water, he said, the firemen poured on it.

Pauline and Harry trussed up and in it like Heydrich’s killers (Lewis Gilbert’s Operation Daybreak) and Lew Harper (Stuart Rosenberg’s The Drowning Pool).

The rats figure in “Water’s Edge” on The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, dir. Bernard Girard.

Batman on television has a flair for this.

When the lovers return, the secretary hightails it.

The Shattered Plane

The Grapevine Video transfer manages to misspell Crane Wilbur’s name and thus violate the first rule of show business before a frame of the film is run.

The secretary suggests she take off, in an air meet, with expressive hand gestures.

Harry objects, she laughs, insists.

Aviation in 1914.

Pauline a paying passenger on a sabotaged racing biplane.

Harry delays her just long enough by cleverly running out of gas.

“We’ll get her next time.”

My Mother the Car is obviously inspired by Gasnier.

The Tragic Plunge

Lt. Summers’ secret submarine. Mademoiselle Yagow, a spy. She and the secretary “recognize each other as potential allies.”

The lieutenant’s valet is also a spy. Who is Pauline’s great descendant but That Girl?

Mademoiselle Yagow, or Yargow, is furthermore an assassin for hire. The “international band of spies” moreover has plans for Lt. Summers.

Filch the plans, sink the sub with the designer aboard and Pauline.

According to Hal Erickson of Rovi, “poorly directed and miserably photographed”.

Gasnier takes the camera up in a plane or out on a Navy longboat, he has precisely the genius of Feuillade for scenes and locations, his real heir is Sidaris (breeze blowing the foliage around his action).

The view from the deck of the submarine, underway, and from a motorboat alongside as it submerges.

The valet’s bomb.

Escape through the torpedo tube, as in John Ford’s Men Without Women, and strictly from Méliès.

Rescue of the stolen plans. Raising of the submarine.

The Serpent in the Flowers

Another gypsy chief, for cash (the gypsy camp is quite like the one in Christopher Miles’ The Virgin and the Gypsy).

Kidnapped, Pauline heads for them thar hills, right past a wonderfully bewildered dancing bear.

Here you have practically a Lubitsch film. Pauline is recaptured, Harry driving in search of her meets the chief’s jealous woman, they strike a bargain.

Pauline wields a bottle at the disarmed chief in the tussle that follows.

The chief is wounded, his woman seeks revenge with the creature of the title. And so, Pauline receives the gift of a flower basket and a snake.

Harry kills it, she’s off again.

A steeplechase.

The secretary is all for it.

The horse she buys at auction is named Firefly.

Pauline wears silks on the great day. Harry is distressed. “Please abandon this mad project, Pauline!”

Firefly gets the needle, Pauline falls.

The Floating Coffin

“Harry, will you show me the mechanism of your motor boat?”

This translated title card is the second in the Ninth Episode, after the entrancing prose of, “Harry has bought a yacht and is cruising on the sea with his betrothed, Pauline.”

She wants “a short cruise” by herself. The secretary (in this version he is called Kœrner) sees his chance, what with Navy target practice (magnificent filming). “Pauline’s wish is fulfilled.” She and her dog take the motor boat.

“An hour afterwards.” It has sprung a leak, she rows it to a newly-purchased Navy target barge.

“Get your guns ready.” Keaton recalls the unpeopled ship in The Navigator.

Firing commences. She shakes her head at her predicament. The Navy ship is very far. She sends a message with Rusty.

It is successful.

The secretary goes overboard, and stays there (Carol Reed remembers his demise in The Third Man).

Pauline agrees to marry Harry.