Serials were popular forms of entertainment in the pre-television era, providing a consistent and reliable audience for theaters. They began even in the silent era, primarily as novelty films. The Hazards of Helen (1914–1917), with 119 episodes of one reel each, is sometimes seen as the first serial with Western elements, although it does not run a continuous, unbroken storyline. Serials especially came to prominence in the 1930s and 1940s and were often directed at youth audiences. Aprototype for all serials might be Gene Autry’s first film, The Phantom Empire(1935), an early science-fiction Western of 12 episodes. Autry discovers the underground kingdom of Murania and gets involved in fantastical sequences involving robots, death rays, and radio broadcasts—all the while trying to get back to the ranch to air his weekly radio show, which is in danger of being taken off the air. Each episode ends with the obvious death or near death of Autry or the two youngsters who share his adventures. However, the first few minutes of the subsequent episode would backtrack long enough to show how the singing cowboy was able to escape at the last possible second. Many serials were in later years edited for release in one feature. Thus The Phantom Empire became the de-serialized Men with Steel Facesin 1940, reducing the running time from 245 minutes to 70 minutes.

Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Serials — Als Serial wird die Produktionsform von zahlreichen Serien Kinofilmen in den USA und anderen Ländern bezeichnet. Sie liefen wöchentlich als kürzere Vorfilme mit einer Dauer von ca. 30 Minuten (drei Filmrollen) vor dem eigentlichen Hauptfilm und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • serials — ● serial, serials nom masculin (anglais serial, ouvrage qui paraît par séries) Film à épisodes contant les diverses aventures d un même personnage. sérials [seʀjal] n. m. pl. ⇒ Sérial …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • serials — se·ri·al || sɪrɪəl / sɪə n. work which is published or broadcast in regular several episodes(such as a television program or magazine) adj. arranged in a series; consecutive, sequential; transferring information bit after bit (Computers);… …   English contemporary dictionary

  • serials — airless …   Anagrams dictionary

  • Serials Solutions — Infobox Company name = Serials Solutions type = ERAMS (E Resource Access and Management Services) genre = foundation = 2000 founder = location city = Seattle, Washington location country = U.S. location = locations = area served = key people =… …   Wikipedia

  • Serials crisis — The term serials crisis has become common shorthand for the runaway cost increases of many scholarly journals [ [ michalak.html The term “serials crisis” has come to be common shorthand for the… …   Wikipedia

  • Serials, periodicals and journals — In publishing or library and information science, the term serial is applied to materials in any medium issued under the same title in a succession of discrete parts, usually numbered (or dated) and appearing at regular or irregular intervals… …   Wikipedia

  • List of unmade Doctor Who serials and films — During the long history of the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who, a number of stories were proposed but, for a variety of reasons, never fully produced. Below is a list of unmade serials which the BBC had intended to produce …   Wikipedia

  • List of Doctor Who serials — Contents 1 First Doctor 1.1 …   Wikipedia

  • United Kingdom military aircraft serials — Infobox Aviation name=United Kingdom military aircraft serials caption=XR220 a BAC TSR 2In the United Kingdom to identify individual aircraft, all military aircraft are allocated and display a serial number. A unified serial number system,… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.