austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Oh no, you let the wrong words slip

The Perils Of Pauline Episode Eleven, ``Into the Flames'', opens with the discovery that Pauline is not dead.

Pauline screamed, at the people intruding in her bedroom, so Dodge runs out panicking and yelling and hollering, and just then Dr Hargraves, Warde, and all are coming up the path anyway. Dodge's screaming, and then his panicky grabbing and shooting of a pair of pistols --- seriously, he jumps up and down on the porch, shooting off-camera, winging three stagehands and a continuity girl --- scares Bashan's henchmen off.

Bashan is almost as furious as you might imagine at his henchmen being scared off by Willie Dodge, and even then he's not angry enough. Hargraves meanwhile shows off that just a little portion of the formula produces a big flame, almost like someone burned a piece of flash paper, and he expects this will truly help them preserve the peace of the world. He arranges a new demonstration, after warning of all the hazards involved, although I notice nobody stands behind a blast shield or wears a face mask or even waits until the room ventilator is turned on, if it had one. I realize that in the 1930s the favorite method of testing chemical compounds was for the chemist to inject large amounts of unknown compounds into his heart, which is why most chemists died by age 23, but sheesh.

Hargraves mentions that, if nothing else, everyone must be very careful of this huge bottle of --- you're going to think I'm making this up but I am not --- CHEMICAL X. He mutters something about it being phosphorous-based, and extremely dangerous, but it's sitting right there, a nice big glass whiskey jug of CHEMICAL X. When Hargraves goes off to make sure he's absent from the scene some, Pauline and Warde are left alone to be ambushed and to talk about how they're really the only candidates for a romantic subplot so they should probably decide they love each other, since they're almost out of episodes.

Bashan and Fang break in and there's some scuffling and fighting and what do you know but the bottle of CHEMICAL X falls off the table and rolls down the stairs, setting off a massive fire all through the Chemical Exchange Building. Bashan and Fang escape, but Warde and Paule figure what they really have to do is get higher, and into a more precarious tower --- well, they ultimately decide that. There's a minute of padding with shots of the fire being called in, a switchboard operator passing the message along, a Morse code key being tapped, fire fighters sliding down their poles, trucks swinging into action --- before Our Heroes decide to get to the tallest, most precarious spot to be entirely trapped by fire. At least the footage of a building on fire does look like it's mostly footage of the same real-world fire. The fire footage continues, taking up precious screen time, until finally the tower that Pauline and Warde are supposed to be in twists and collapses, and that's a pretty solid cliffhanger for the final episode.

Trivia: 18 July 1954 was the most recent time [ as of 1994, book publication ] that a game was forfeited, by the Saint Louis Cardinals to the Philadelphia Phillies, on the grounds of a team delaying the game. Since the game had not finished five innings the scorer did not send in a box score. Source: The Rules of Baseball: An Anecdotal Look at the Rules of Baseball and How They Came To Be, David Nemec.

Currently Reading: Voyager: Seeking Newer Worlds In The Third Great Age Of Discovery, Stephen J Pyne.

Tags: movies, perils of pauline, serials
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