Serial film

film serialserialmovie serialserialsfilm serialsmovie serialscliffhanger serialsseriesmystery serialsilent film serials
A serial film, film serial (or just serial), movie serial or chapter play, is a 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.wikipedia
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Cliffhanger

To be continuedcliffhanger endingcliff-hanger
Each chapter was screened at a movie theater for one week, and ended with a cliffhanger, in which characters found themselves in perilous situations with little apparent chance of escape.
In movie serials and television series, the following episode sometimes begins with a recap sequence.

Flash Gordon (serial)

Flash GordonFlash Gordon'' serialFlash Gordon serial
The Flash Gordon serial and its sequels, for instance, were major productions in their times. This was in 1937, and Columbia was probably inspired by the previous year's serial blockbuster success at Universal, Flash Gordon, the first serial ever to play at a major theater on Broadway; and by the success of that same year of the newly created Republic Pictures, which dedicated itself to a program of serials and westerns, eschewing major productions in their favor.
Flash Gordon is a 1936 science-fiction film superhero serial.

The Perils of Pauline (1914 serial)

The Perils of PaulinePerils of Pauline1914
Famous American serials of the silent era include The Perils of Pauline and The Exploits of Elaine made by Pathé Frères and starring Pearl White.
The Perils of Pauline is a 1914 American melodrama film serial shown in weekly installments, featuring Pearl White as the title character.

The Exploits of Elaine

Famous American serials of the silent era include The Perils of Pauline and The Exploits of Elaine made by Pathé Frères and starring Pearl White.
The Exploits of Elaine is a 1914 American film serial in the damsel in distress genre of The Perils of Pauline (1914).

Pearl White

Famous American serials of the silent era include The Perils of Pauline and The Exploits of Elaine made by Pathé Frères and starring Pearl White.
White began her career on the stage at the age of six, and later moved on to silent films appearing in a number of popular serials.

The Hazards of Helen

Another popular serial was the 119-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.
The Hazards of Helen is an American adventure film serial (or possibly a film series) of 119 twelve-minute episodes released over a span of slightly more than two years by the Kalem Company between November 7, 1914 and February 24, 1917.

Helen Holmes

Another popular serial was the 119-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. Ruth Roland, Marin Sais, Ann Little, and Helen Holmes were also early leading serial queens.
She is most notable for starring in the 1914–1917 serial The Hazards of Helen.

Mascot Pictures

MascotMascot Pictures Corporation
Several independent companies (for example, Mascot Pictures) made Western serials.
Mascot Pictures Corporation was an American film company of the 1920s and 1930s best known for producing and distributing film serials and B-westerns.

Les Vampires

The Vampires
Europe had its own serials: in France Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset launched his series of Nick Carter films in 1908, and the idea of the episodic crime adventure was developed particularly by Louis Feuillade in Fantômas (1913–14), Les Vampires (1915), and Judex (1916); in Germany, Homunculus (1916), directed by Otto Rippert, was a six-part horror serial about an artificial creature.
Les Vampires is a 1915–16 French silent crime serial film written and directed by Louis Feuillade.

Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset

Victorin JassetZigomar
Europe had its own serials: in France Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset launched his series of Nick Carter films in 1908, and the idea of the episodic crime adventure was developed particularly by Louis Feuillade in Fantômas (1913–14), Les Vampires (1915), and Judex (1916); in Germany, Homunculus (1916), directed by Otto Rippert, was a six-part horror serial about an artificial creature.
He worked on many genres of film and was particularly associated with the development of detective or crime serials, such as the Nick Carter and Zigomar series.

Republic Pictures

RepublicRepublic StudiosRepublic Pictures Home Video
This was in 1937, and Columbia was probably inspired by the previous year's serial blockbuster success at Universal, Flash Gordon, the first serial ever to play at a major theater on Broadway; and by the success of that same year of the newly created Republic Pictures, which dedicated itself to a program of serials and westerns, eschewing major productions in their favor. 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.
It was best known for specializing in Westerns, serials and B films emphasizing mystery and action.

Helen Gibson

Rose August WengerRose Wenger Gibson
Another popular serial was the 119-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.
In April 1915 while on the Kalem payroll doubling for Helen Holmes in The Hazards of Helen adventure film series, Helen performed what is thought to be her most dangerous stunt: a leap from the roof of a station onto the top of a moving train in the A Girl's Grit episode.

Judex (1916 film)

Judex1916the same name
Europe had its own serials: in France Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset launched his series of Nick Carter films in 1908, and the idea of the episodic crime adventure was developed particularly by Louis Feuillade in Fantômas (1913–14), Les Vampires (1915), and Judex (1916); in Germany, Homunculus (1916), directed by Otto Rippert, was a six-part horror serial about an artificial creature.
Judex is the title of a 1916 silent French film serial concerning the adventures of Judex, who is a pulp hero, similar to The Shadow, created by Louis Feuillade and Arthur Bernède.

Universal Pictures

Universal StudiosUniversalUniversal Film Manufacturing Company
Other major studios of the silent era, such as Vitagraph and Essanay Studios, produced serials, as did Warner Bros., Fox, and Universal.
However, it sought an audience mostly in small towns, producing mostly inexpensive melodramas, westerns and serials.

Short film

shortshort subjectshort films
A serial film, film serial (or just serial), movie serial or chapter play, is a 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.
Short comedies were especially popular, and typically came in a serial or series (such as the Our Gang movies, or the many outings of Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp character).

Fantômas (1913 serial)

FantômasFantômas - À l'ombre de la guillotineFantômas Contre Fantômas
Europe had its own serials: in France Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset launched his series of Nick Carter films in 1908, and the idea of the episodic crime adventure was developed particularly by Louis Feuillade in Fantômas (1913–14), Les Vampires (1915), and Judex (1916); in Germany, Homunculus (1916), directed by Otto Rippert, was a six-part horror serial about an artificial creature.
Fantômas is a French silent crime film serial directed by Louis Feuillade, based on the novel of the same name.

Ruth Roland

Ruth Roland, Marin Sais, Ann Little, and Helen Holmes were also early leading serial queens.
In 1915 she appeared in a 14-episode adventure film serial titled The Red Circle.

Arsène Lupin contra Sherlock Holmes

Arsene Lupin Contra Sherlock Holmes
There appear to be older serials, however, such as the 1910 Deutsche Vitaskop 5 episode Arsene Lupin Contra Sherlock Holmes, based upon the Maurice LeBlanc novel, and a possible but unconfirmed Raffles serial in 1911.
Arsène Lupin contra Sherlock Holmes is a 1910 German drama film serial directed by Viggo Larsen.

Nick Carter, le roi des détectives

Nick Carter
Europe had its own serials: in France Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset launched his series of Nick Carter films in 1908, and the idea of the episodic crime adventure was developed particularly by Louis Feuillade in Fantômas (1913–14), Les Vampires (1915), and Judex (1916); in Germany, Homunculus (1916), directed by Otto Rippert, was a six-part horror serial about an artificial creature.
Nick Carter, le roi des détectives (1908) is a French silent serial film based on the popular American novels featuring the master-detective Nick Carter.

Damsel in distress

damsels in distressdamsel-in-distressdamsel
Serials were action-packed stories that usually involved a hero (or heroes) battling an evil villain and rescuing damsel in distress.
Imperiled heroines in need of rescue were a frequent occurrence in black-and-white film serials made by studios such as Columbia Pictures, Mascot Pictures, Republic Pictures, and Universal Studios in the 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s.

Cliffhangers (TV series)

CliffhangersThe Secret EmpireThe Curse of Dracula
On February 27, 1979, NBC broadcast the first episode of an hour-long weekly television series Cliffhangers!, which had three segments, each with a different serial: a horror story (The Curse of Dracula, starring Michael Nouri), a science fiction/western (The Secret Empire, (inspired by 1935's The Phantom Empire) starring Geoffrey Scott as Marshal Jim Donner and Mark Lenard as Emperor Thorval) and a mystery (Stop Susan Williams!, starring Susan Anton, Ray Walston as Bob Richards, and Albert Paulsen as the villain Anthony Korf).
Cliffhangers attempted to revive the genre of movie serials in a made-for-TV format.

Masked Mystery Villain

mystery villainmysteriousbig brain
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.
The Masked Mystery Villain was frequently used in the adventure stories of Pulp magazines and Movie Serials in the early twentieth century.

Clip show

re-cap chapterclip-showclip
In 1938, 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).
Clip shows have their origin in theatrical short films and serials.

Green Hornet

The Green HornetBritt ReidGreen Hornet Comics
Universal followed it up with more pop-culture icons: The Green Hornet and Ace Drummond from radio, and Smilin' Jack and Buck Rogers from newspapers.
The Green Hornet appeared in film serials in the 1940s, a television show in the 1960s (which costarred Bruce Lee in his first major adult role), multiple comic book series from the 1940s on, and a feature film in January 2011.

The Perils of Penelope Pitstop

Perils of Penelope PitstopThe Hooded Claw17
The Hanna–Barbera Perils of Penelope Pitstop was a takeoff on the silent serials The Perils of Pauline and The Iron Claw, which featured Paul Lynde as the voice of the villain Sylvester Sneakley, alias "The Hooded Claw".
The series was patterned on the silent movie era melodrama cliffhanger movie serial The Perils of Pauline.