Two enduring misconceptions

It's interesting to see these popular misconceptions appearing even here in reviews by people who have watched the serial. That's how strongly these myths about The Perils of Pauline are apparently ingrained in our culture.

Myth 1. Pauline was tied to railroad tracks. No, she wasn't. That happened to characters in some other films, but not in The Perils of Pauline. (*Certainly not in the surviving 9-part version.) No tying to the tracks, no buzz saw with a conveyor belt, no moustache-twirling Victorian villain. She was bound and gagged a number of times, though.

Myth 2. This serial used cliffhanger endings. Not at all. The danger in each episode was resolved within that chapter. Pauline was never left in a perilous situation at the end. The cliffhanger ending is generally thought to have originated with the slightly earlier Adventures of Kathlyn, but that format was definitely not used in The Perils of Pauline.


Thanks so much for posting this. I had a trivia point entered regarding the tied to railroad tracks myth which identified the other old films which did contain such a scene, and someone had it deleted!

That myth started very early on - in the teens. The scene like that in the 1947 Pauline movie is actually a recreation of a scene in a Keystone comedy called Teddy at the Throttle (1917). A similar scene also occurred in an earlier Keystone comedy called Barney Oldfield's Race for a Life (1913). There was a similar scene in the serial "A Lass of the Lumberlands", where a guy was tied to the tracks, and also in "The Broken Circuit" (episode #10 of the Hazards of Helen series.

I have resubmitted my trivia. Also submitted trivia regarding the buzz saw scene, and the villain being clean shave sans top hat and cape.