Serial film  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Serials, more specifically known as Movie serials, Film serials or Chapter plays, are short subjects originally shown in theaters in conjunction with a feature film. They were related to pulp magazine serialized fiction. Also known as "chapter plays", they were extended motion pictures broken into a number of segments called "chapters" or "episodes". Each chapter was screened at the same theater for one week, and ended with a cliffhanger, in which the hero and heroine found themselves in a perilous situation with little apparent chance of escape. Viewers had to return each week to see the cliffhangers resolved and to follow the continuing story. Serials were especially popular with children, and for many youths in the first half of the 20th century a typical Saturday at the movies included a chapter of at least one serial, along with animated cartoons, newsreels, and two feature films.


Contents

Public domain

Several serials are now in the public domain. These can often be downloaded legally over the internet or purchased as cheap DVDs. The list of public domain serials include:

Selected film serials

Selected serials of the Silent Era

Serials of the golden age of serials

The "golden age" of serials is generally from 1936 to 1945.

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Other notable serials





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Serial film" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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