The Lost Jungle
Cliffhanger Action and Hollywood Serials of the 1930s and 1940s
By Guy Barefoot
The main question addressed in this book: why has the Hollywood sound serial received so little scholarly attention? The sound serial was extremely popular in the 1930s and 1940s, with serials made by companies such as Universal and Columbia. At children’s matinees they were enthusiastically received, but were also part of a regular programme of neighbourhood cinemas in the United States. Eventually, this phenomenon went global and was a popular alternative to a feature film, regardless of whether they were screened individually or in a single sitting.
Many works on the sound serial are written both by and for fans, with little more than a collection of image stills and brief summaries. Here, the author presents a thorough analysis based on detailed historical research, focusing on the period between 1930, when serials were born, and 1946, when Universal stopped their production.
As well as exploring particular films, the author situates them in American film culture and societal practice of film viewing. The production of the serials is also considered, examining how it drew upon previous conventions such as silent cinema and melodrama.
This book will be a vital component in the study of American film, as it explores a previously untouched niche in great detail, offering an accessible yet academic perspective on the growth and decline of Hollywood sound serials.
¨ The Serial and the Cliffhanger: Definitions and Origins
¨ Thursday Night at the Ritz: Exhibition, Audiences and Regulation
¨ The Economy Chapter
¨ The Second Chapter, 1930-46
¨ Four Serials and a Feature, 1932-38
¨ Where are you now, Batman? Aftermath and Conclusion
Guy Barefoot is Associate Professor in Film Studies, and Director of Studies, History of Art and Film, School of Arts, University of Leicester, UK.
New Titles List
Exeter Studies in Film History
- 'Film Europe' And 'Film America' - Cinema, Commerce and Cultural Exchange 1920-1939
- Alternative Empires - European Modernist Cinemas and Cultures of Imperialism
- Alternative Film Culture in Interwar Britain
- The Appreciation of Film - The Postwar Film Society Movement and Film Culture in Britain
- The Big Show - British Cinema Culture in the Great War (1914-1918)
- British Cinema and Middlebrow Culture in the Interwar Years
- Cecil Hepworth and the Rise of the British Film Industry 1899-1911
- Celluloid War Memorials - The British Instructional Films Company and the Memory of the Great War
- Charles Urban - Pioneering the Non-Fiction Film in Britain and America, 1897 - 1925
- A Chorus Of Raspberries - British Film Comedy 1929-1939
- Going to the Movies - Hollywood and the Social Experience of Cinema
- The Great Art Of Light And Shadow - Archaeology of the Cinema
- Hollywood, Westerns And The 1930S - The Lost Trail
- Legitimate Cinema - Theatre Stars in Silent British Films, 1908-1918
- The Lost Jungle - Cliffhanger Action and Hollywood Serials of the 1930s and 1940s
- Marketing Modernity - Victorian Popular Shows and Early Cinema
- Multimedia Histories - From Magic Lanterns to Internet
- Parallel Tracks - The Railroad and Silent Cinema
- A Paul Rotha Reader
- Popular Filmgoing in 1930s Britain - A Choice of Pleasures
- Reading the Cinematograph - The Cinema in British Short Fiction, 1896-1912
- Silent Features - The Development of Silent Feature Films 1914 - 1934
- The World According To Hollywood,1918-1939
- Young And Innocent? - The Cinema in Britain, 1896-1930