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Exporting Perilous PaulinePearl White and the Serial Film Craze$
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Marina Dahlquist

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037689

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037689.001.0001

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Pearl, the Swift One, or the Extraordinary Adventures of Pearl White in France

Pearl, the Swift One, or the Extraordinary Adventures of Pearl White in France

(p.71) Chapter 3 Pearl, the Swift One, or the Extraordinary Adventures of Pearl White in France
Exporting Perilous Pauline

Monica Dall’Asta

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the Pearl White phenomenon on the French market, with particular emphasis on the French influence on Pathé Frère's American serial films and the obvious resemblance between the Pauline character and the French athlete, mountaineer, and aviator Marie Marvingt. Also known as “the fiancée of danger,” “the most important woman in France since Joan of Arc,” and “the universal sportswoman,” Marvingt was already familiar to the American audience by the time The Perils of Pauline was released in 1914. The parallels between the stories of White and Marvingt suggest that the former's popularity among French audiences was not simply due to some exotic fascination for the peerless modernity of the American New Woman, but was instead rooted in some very familiar experiences of feminine heroism. This chapter also explores White's forerunners as well as emulators in the French serial genre from Musidora to Protéa.

Keywords:   feminine heroism, Pearl White, Pathé Frère, American serial films, Marie Marvingt, France, The Perils of Pauline, serial genre, Musidora, Protéa

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