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Silent Serial SensationsThe Wharton Brothers and the Magic of Early Cinema$
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Barbara Tepa Lupack

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501748189

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501748189.001.0001

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Exploiting Elaine

Exploiting Elaine

(p.82) Chapter 6 Exploiting Elaine
Silent Serial Sensations

Barbara Tepa Lupack

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on the serial The Exploits of Elaine (1914). The fictional Elaine Dodge, an enterprising young woman who dedicates herself to solving the mystery of her father's death at the hands of an anonymous villain, would help to shape and advance the Wharton brothers' film career. As Pathé-Hearst's The Perils of Pauline (1914) neared its conclusion, newspaper tycoon and movie producer William Randolph Hearst was determined to create a new serial that would afford his popular star Pearl White an exciting encore. That serial was The Exploits of Elaine, which was expected to be a landmark venture for Hearst. In turn, for the Whartons, the chance to be associated with Hearst's enterprise seemed an unparalleled opportunity, one that would allow them to move beyond short pictures and to make their own singular contribution to the increasingly popular serial genre.

Keywords:   The Exploits of Elaine, Elaine Dodge, Wharton brothers, William Randolph Hearst, Pearl White, serial genre

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