Search results for: serials-ly-speaking

Serials ly Speaking

Author : William C. Cline
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This collection of essays (first published in Big Reel) lovingly recalls the glory days of the movie serial. The primary focus is on the fans of the serials--what they thought of them in their heyday, what they think of them now, and why these episodic tales are still so popular. Preceding each article is a brief commentary about the essay explaining why the topic was chosen and the reader response it evoked when first published.

Science Fiction Serials

Author : Roy Kinnard
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Destination Moon; George Pal’s 1950 Technicolor epic, is generally cited as the first noteworthy science fiction film. Usually ignored or casually dismissed in genre histories are the serials, the low-budget chapterplays exhibited as Saturday matinee fare and targeted almost exclusively at children. Lacking stars and top-notch writers or directors, the serials went largely unnoticed and unacknowledged by either critics or by the film industry. Yet serials were financially important to the Hollywood studios, and were often free to exploit risky or outlandish subjects that producers of “distinguished” movies would not touch. Influential serials such as The Phantom Empire (1935) and Flash Gordon (1936) finally brought science fiction themes to the big screen. Those serials and 29 others are exhaustively covered in this work, which provides complete cast and credit information along with plot descriptions and historical commentary for each serial. Video distributors (if available) are also listed.

Encyclopedia of American Film Serials

Author : Geoff Mayer
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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.

Serials and Series

Author : Buck Rainey
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While many fans remember The Lone Ranger, Ace Drummond and others, fewer focus on the facts that serials had their roots in silent film and that many foreign studios also produced serials, though few made it to the United States. The 471 serials and 100 series (continuing productions without the cliffhanger endings) from the United States and 136 serials and 37 series from other countries are included in this comprehensive reference work. Each entry includes title, country of origin, year, studio, number of episodes, running time or number of reels, episode titles, cast, production credits, and a plot synopsis.

Matinee Melodrama

Author : Scott Higgins
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Long before Batman, Flash Gordon, or the Lone Ranger were the stars of their own TV shows, they had dedicated audiences watching their adventures each week. The difference was that this action took place on the big screen, in short adventure serials whose exciting cliffhangers compelled the young audience to return to the theater every seven days. Matinee Melodrama is the first book about the adventure serial as a distinct artform, one that uniquely encouraged audience participation and imaginative play. Media scholar Scott Higgins proposes that the serial’s incoherent plotting and reliance on formula, far from being faults, should be understood as some of its most appealing attributes, helping to spawn an active fan culture. Further, he suggests these serials laid the groundwork not only for modern-day cinematic blockbusters like Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark, but also for all kinds of interactive media that combine spectacle, storytelling, and play. As it identifies key elements of the serial form—from stock characters to cliffhangers—Matinee Melodrama delves deeply into questions about the nature of suspense, the aesthetics of action, and the potentials of formulaic narrative. Yet it also provides readers with a loving look at everything from Zorro’s Fighting Legion to Daredevils of the Red Circle, conveying exactly why these films continue to thrill and enthrall their fans.

Cowboys Creatures and Classics

Author : Chris Enss
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Take one well-oiled effective killing machine, add a familiar hero on the ground, in the air, and on horseback; stir in a ghastly end that’s surely impossible to escape, add action, add passion, made on a shoestring budget at breakneck speed, and you’ve got the recipe for Republic Pictures. Who, after all, cannot forget The Atomic Kid, starring Mickey Rooney, or The Untamed Heiress, with an un-Oscar-worthy performance by ingénue Judy Canova? Exploding onto the movie scene in 1935, Republic Pictures brought the pop culture of the 30s and 40s to neighborhood movie houses. Week after week kids sank into their matinee seats to soak up the Golden Age of the Republic series, to ride off into the classic American West. And they gave us visions of the future. Visions that inspire film makers today. Republic was a studio that dollar for dollar packed more movie onto the screen than the majors could believe. From sunrise on into the night over grueling six day weeks, no matter how much mayhem movie makers were called upon to produce, at Republic Pictures it was all in a day’s work. Republic Pictures was the little studio in the San Fernando Valley where movies were made family style. A core of technicians, directors, and actors worked hard at their craft as Republic released a staggering total of more than a thousand films through the late 1950s. Republic Pictures was home to John Wayne for thirty-three films. Always inventing, Republic brought a song to the West. It featured the West’s first singing cowboy. Republic brought action, adventure, and escape to neighborhood movies houses across America. And they brought it with style. Scene from westerns such as The Three Mesquiteers and the Lawless Range gave screaming kids at the bijou a white-knuckle display of expert film making. Republic Pictures became a studio where major directors could bring their personal vision to the screen. Sometimes these were projects no other studio would touch such as The Quiet Man (which brought director John Ford an Oscar) and Macbeth. Killer Bs, Cowboys, Creatures and Classics: The Story of Republic Pictures is for anyone who likes B movies magic. It is the honest account of an extraordinary production house, one whose ability to turn out films quickly boded well for its transition into television production. Not only were its sets used for such shows as Leave it to Beaver and Gilligan’s Island, stock footage from Republic’s movies was used on such shows as Gunsmoke and The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp.

In the Nick of Time

Author : William C. Cline
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By the famous Big Reel columnist: the story of serials from Universal's 1930 The Indians Are Coming to Columbia's 1956 Blazing the Overland Trail. Fifteen fascinating chapters explain the importance of "cliffhangers" to the industry as audience builders and "product leaders." The serials provided training for actors and served as a "technical university" for people who later made the television industry work. An appendix lists in order of release all of the sound serials from 1930 through 1956, showing titles, releasing companies, chapter titles, directors and several cast members. Superb photographs.

Billy the Kid on Film 1911 2012

Author : Johnny D. Boggs
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A comprehensive filmography, this book is composed of lengthy entries on about 75 films depicting legendary New Mexico outlaw Billy the Kid—from the lost Billy the Kid (1911) to the blockbuster Young Guns (1988) to the direct-to-video 1313: Billy the Kid(2012) and everything in between. Each entry gives a synopsis, cast and credits, critical reception, and a discussion of the events of the films compared to the historical record. Among the entries are made-for-TV and direct-to-video films, foreign movies, and continuing television series in which Billy the Kid made an appearance.

Classic Movie Fight Scenes

Author : Gene Freese
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Both brawls and elaborate martial arts have kept movie audiences on the edges of their seats since cinema began. But the filming of fight scenes has changed significantly through the years--mainly for the safety of the combatants--from improvised scuffles in the Silent Era to exquisitely choreographed and edited sequences involving actors, stuntmen and technical experts. Camera angles prevented many a broken nose. Examining more than 300 films--from The Spoilers (1914) to Road House (1989)--the author provides behind-the-scenes details on memorable melees starring such iconic tough-guys as John Wayne, Randolph Scott, Robert Mitchum, Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood, Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris and Jackie Chan.

The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Author : Gary Westfahl
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A comprehensive three-volume reference work offers six hundred entries, with the first two volumes covering themes and the third volume exploring two hundred classic works in literature, television, and film.

The Lone Ranger on Radio Film and Television

Author : Ed Andreychuk
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The Lone Ranger has endured as an iconic figure in American popular culture, from his 1933 premier as a radio serial hero through a highly-rated television series (1949–1957) to a 2013 feature film. Created by script writer Fran Striker and radio station owner George W. Trendle, the character was meant to embody courage, fair play and honesty, and writers had to adhere to specific guidelines: “he never smokes ... he uses precise speech ... he never shoots to kill.” The popularity of the Ranger and his companion Tonto inspired later crime fighting duos like Batman and Robin, and The Green Hornet and Kato. This book examines the franchise in detail, with summaries and production details of the original radio episodes.

The Republic Chapterplays

Author : R.M. Hayes
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Known as Hollywood's "Thrill Factory," Republic Pictures produced some of the most exciting serials to hit the big screen. The studio's chapterplays were one of the most popular Saturday matinee genres. Covering nearly 70 serials, the filmographies include full production credits; release dates; chapter titles; running times; sound systems (when applicable); a note on reissues, condensations and sequels; and an extensive cast list showing roles played. Included are an essay on the general development of the American serial and a history of Republic studio to the present.

Jesse James and the Movies

Author : Johnny D. Boggs
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This illustrated filmography analyzes the plots and players of the more than forty motion pictures about the legendary Missouri outlaw Jesse James (1847–1882), from the silent era to the 21st century. Among the films and actors covered are Jesse James (1939) with Tyrone Power, Kansas Raiders (1950) with Audie Murphy, The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid (1972) with Robert Duvall, and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) with Brad Pitt. Each evaluation compares Hollywood’s version of history to the hard facts. A brief biography of the outlaw provides an overview of his life and career. Also examined are European films, made-for-television movies and continuing TV series that have featured episodes involving Jesse James.

The New Historical Dictionary of the American Film Industry

Author : Anthony Slide
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The New Historical Dictionary of the American Film Industry is a completely revised and updated edition of Anthony Slide's The American Film Industry, originally published in 1986 and recipient of the American Library Association's Outstanding Reference Book award for that year. More than 200 new entries have been added, and all original entries have been updated; each entry is followed by a short bibliography. As its predecessor, the new dictionary is unique in that it is not a who's who of the industry, but rather a what's what: a dictionary of producing and releasing companies, technical innovations, industry terms, studios, genres, color systems, institutions and organizations, etc. More than 800 entries include everything from "Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences" to "Zoom Lens", from "Astoria Studios" to "Zoetrope". Outstanding Reference Source - American Library Association

United States Congressional Serial Set

Author :
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Hollywood s West

Author : Peter C. Rollins
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American historians such as Frederick Jackson Turner have argued that the West has been the region that most clearly defines American democracy and the national ethos. Throughout the twentieth century, the “frontier thesis” influenced film and television producers who used the West as a backdrop for an array of dramatic explorations of America’s history and the evolution of its culture and values. The common themes found in Westerns distinguish the genre as a quintessentially American form of dramatic art. In Hollywood’s West, Peter C. Rollins, John E. O’Connor, and the nation’s leading film scholars analyze popular conceptions of the frontier as a fundamental element of American history and culture. This volume examines classic Western films and programs that span nearly a century, from Cimarron (1931) to Turner Network Television’s recent made-for-TV movies. Many of the films discussed here are considered among the greatest cinematic landmarks of all time. The essays highlight the ways in which Westerns have both shaped and reflected the dominant social and political concerns of their respective eras. While Cimarron challenged audiences with an innovative, complex narrative, other Westerns of the early sound era such as The Great Meadow (1931) frequently presented nostalgic visions of a simpler frontier era as a temporary diversion from the hardships of the Great Depression. Westerns of the 1950s reveal the profound uncertainty cast by the cold war, whereas later Westerns display heightened violence and cynicism, products of a society marred by wars, assassinations, riots, and political scandals. The volume concludes with a comprehensive filmography and an informative bibliography of scholarly writings on the Western genre. This collection will prove useful to film scholars, historians, and both devoted and casual fans of the Western genre. Hollywood’s West makes a significant contribution to the understanding of both the historic American frontier and its innumerable popular representations.

Comedy Quotes from the Movies

Author : Larry Langman
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Clever repartee, double entendres, punch lines and many other variations of humor have been a staple of movie dialogue since the advent of talkies. Collected here are over 4,000 of the best comedic lines from the movies. The compilers of this book have tried to bring together some of the funniest, wittiest and most outrageous snatches of dialogue on film over a sixty year time period. For each entry the authors set the quotation in context, provide the name of the actor or actress, the name of the movie and the year of release. The quotations are arranged by a broad range of categories, such as politics, food and eating, gambling, and many others. A title index and a name index follow the body of the book..

Bad at the Bijou

Author : William R. Horner
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This book is about a group of actors who bring drama to the big screen the way the fair haired hero never could. The granddaddies of Darth Vadar and J.R. Ewing--villains of the Westerns. Witty interviews with ten Hollywood heavies--Lee Van Cleef, Jack Elam, Strother Martin, others--about their backgrounds, and feelings about themselves, their families, and playing bad guys. Horner asks the right questions, pulls out good answers and shows a fondness for controversial and sensitive issues. Two sections contain 43 photos of these familiar grisly characters in well known roles. All in all a splendid portrayal of a bunch of fine fellows who make a living convincing audiences they are despicable, degenerate and mean. A thorough filmography and a solid index are included.

The Suspense Thriller

Author : Charles Derry
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This book is a comprehensive study of one of the most popular genres in the cinema. From a perspective sympathetic to popular culture, this study analyzes a large number of primarily American and European films by a variety of distinguished directors, including Alfred Hitchcock, Claude Chabrol, John Frankenheimer, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Costa-Gavras. Indispensable to anyone interested in understanding how suspense thrillers work and what they mean, this book provides insightful analysis of hundreds of memorable films, while at the same time working as a virtual how-to manual for anyone trying to write a Hitchcock-like thriller. The first section of the book is primarily theoretical. It offers a bibliographical survey and then explains why we so profoundly enjoy these suspenseful films of murder and intrigue. A chapter on "Thrills: or, How Objects and Empty Spaces Compete to Threaten Us" explores the psychological concept of the thrill and relates it to the psyche of the spectator. To what extent does the suspense thriller represent a symbolic and vicarious experience of danger? A chapter on "Suspense That Makes the Spectator Take a Breath" explores the crucial narrative concept of suspense and relates it to the psychological mechanisms of anxiety incited in the spectator. Why do we like to be scared? A final theoretical chapter offers a dynamic definition of the suspense thriller derived in part from Edgar Allan Poe and based primarily on content analysis. The second section of the book is more of an historical survey and devotes one chapter to each of the suspense thriller's primary sub-genres. These chapters provide close readings of more than 150 major films and detailed analysis of the suspense thriller's conventions, themes, and recurrent iconography. Sub-genres include The Postman Always Rings Twice, Body Heat, The Manchurian Candidate, The China Syndrome, Missing, The Passenger, Spellbound, Obsession, Marathon Man and Blue Velvet. A final chapter explores areas for further research and offers concluding insights.

Down and Dirty

Author : Mike Quarles
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Taboo breakers and trendsetters, shameless hucksters and famous directors. Exploitation filmmaking has seen it all. Fred Olen Ray made his first movie for $298. In 1936 Marijuana-Weed with Roots in Hell showed drug use and nudity on screen in an effort to "educate the public." Kroger Babb, the man behind Mom and Dad, spliced color medical footage of a baby's birth into his black and white "classic." Russ Meyer, John Waters, Andy Milligan, Doris Wishman, and many others are covered. "Classic" films such as The Immoral Mr. Teas, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Nude on the Moon are examined. Production techniques and innovations are also discussed.