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The Hazards of Helen
(1914-1916) American
B&W : Serial / 119 reels
Directed by J.P. McGowan and James Davis [?] + [Helen Holmes and Leo Maloney]?

Cast: Helen Holmes [Helen (episodes 1-48)], Helen Gibson [Helen (episodes 49-119)], Robyn Adair, Ethel Clisbee, Tom Trent, G.A. Williams (George Williams) [policeman], Pearl Anibus, P.S. Pembroke (Percy Pembroke), Roy Watson, Leo Maloney [tramp], James Davis [tramp], George Routh, Jack Messick, Gladys Blue, Paul C. Hurst [train worker], Ben Jones [train worker]

Kalem Film Manufacturing Company production; distributed by The General Film Company, Incorporated. / Produced by Paul C. Hurst. Scenario by Edward Matlack. / One-hundred nineteen episodes (one reel each): [1] “Helen’s Sacrifice,” released 13 November 1914; [2] “The Plot at the R.R. Cut”; [3] “The Girl at the Throttle”; [4] “The Stolen Engine”; [5] “The Flying Freight’s Captive”; [6] “The Black Diamond Express”; [7] “The Escape on the Limited”; [8] “The Girl Telegrapher’s Peril”; [9] “The Leap from the Water Tower”; [10] “The Broken Circuit”; [11] “The Fast Mail’s Danger”; [12] “The Little Engineer”; [13] “Escape of the Fast Freight,” 925 feet; [14] “The Red Signal”; [15] “The Engineer’s Peril”; [16] “The Open Drawbridge”; [17] “The Death Train”; [18] “Night Operator at Buxton”; [19] “Railroad Raiders of ’62”; [20] “The Girl at Lone Point”; [21] “A Life in the Balance”; [22] “The Girl on the Trestle”; [23] “The Girl Engineer”; [24] “A Race for a Crossing”; [25] “The Box Car Trap”; [26] “The Wild Engine”; [27] “A Fiend at the Throttle”; [28] “The Broken Train”; [29] “A Railroader’s Bravery”; [30] “The Human Chain”; [31] “The Pay Train”; [32] “Near Eternity”; [33] “In Danger’s Path”; [34] “The Midnight Limited”; [35] “A Wild Ride”; [36] “A Deed of Daring”; [37] “The Girl on the Engine”; [38] “The Fate of #1”; [39] “The Substitute Fireman”; [40] “The Limited’s Peril”; [41] “A Perilous Chance”; [42] “Train Order #45”; [43] “The Broken Rail”; [44] “Nerves of Steel”; [45] “A Girl’s Grit”; [46] “A Matter of Seconds”; [47] “The Runaway Boxcar”; [48] “The Water Tank Plot,” released [?] October? 1915; [49] “A Test of Courage,” released 16 October 1915; [50] “A Mile a Minute”; [51] “Rescue of the Brakeman’s Children”; [52] “Danger Ahead”; [53] “The Girl and the Special”; [54] “The Girl on the Bridge”; [55] “The Dynamite Train”; [56] “The Tramp Telegrapher”; [57] “Crossed Wires”; [58] “The Wrong Train Order”; [59] “A Boy at the Throttle”; [60] “At the Risk of Her Life”; [61] “When Seconds Count”; [62] “The Haunted Station”; [63] “The Open Track”; [64] “Tapped Wires”; [65] “The Broken Wire”; [66] “Perils of the Rails”; [67] “A Perilous Swing”; [68] “The Switchman’s Story”; [69] “A Girl Telegrapher’s Nerve”; [70] “A Race for a Life”; [71] “The Girl Who Dared”; [72] “The Detective’s Peril”; [73] “The Trapping of ‘Peeler White’”; [74] “The Record Run”; [75] “The Race for a Siding”; [76] “The Governor’s Special”; [77] “The Trail of Danger”; [78] “The Human Telegram”; [79] “The Bridge of Danger”; [80] “One Chance in a Hundred”; [81] “The Capture of Red Stanley”; [82] “Spiked Switch”; [83] “Treasure Train”; [84] “A Race Through the Air”; [85] “The Mysterious Cypher”; [86] “The Engineer’s Honor”; [87] “To Save the Road”; [88] “The Broken Brake”; [89] “In Death’s Pathway”; [90] “A Plunge from the Sky”; [91] “A Mystery of the Rails”; [92] “Hurled Through the Drawbridge”; [93] “With the Aid of The Wrecker”; [94] “At Danger’s Call”; [95] “Secret of the Box Car”; [96] “Ablaze on the Rails,” released 9 September 1916; [97] “The Hoodoo of Division B”; [98] “Defying Death”; [99] “The Death Swing”; [100] “The Blocked Track”; [101] “To Save the Special”; [102] “A Daring Chance”; [103] “The Last Messenger”; [104] “The Gate of Death”; [105] “The Lone Point Mystery”; [106] “The Runaway Sleeper”; [107] “The Forgotten Train Order”; [108] “The Trial Run”; [109] “The Lineman’s Peril”; [110] “The Midnight Express”; [111] “The Vanishing Box Car”; [112] “A Race with Death”; [113] “The Morgul Mountain Mystery”; [114] “The Fireman’s Nemesis”; [115] “The Wrecked Station”; [116] “Railroad Claim Intrigue”; [117] “The Death Siding”; [118] “The Prima Donna’s Special”; [119] “The Side Tracked Sleeper.” / Standard 35mm spherical 1.33:1 format. / Holmes worked on the early episodes and was replaced in episode 49 by Gibson who had been working as Holmes’ stunt double. McGowan directed the episodes featuring Holmes, Davis directed the Gibson episodes. Episode 69 was [?] rereleased? in 1916 as “The Girl Telegrapher’s Nerve.” Another episode was [?] rereleased in 1916? under the episode title “The Agent and the Operator at Lone Point”.[?] Braff-Short n. 10 lists the length of episode 96 as two reels.

Drama: Action.

Survival status: The film is presumed lost : Fragmentary prints exist in the Library of Congress film archive [35mm positives (episodes 1, 3, 39, 63, 69, 76 and 96; episodes 13, 26 and 106)]; in the National Film and Television Archive of the British Film Institute film archive [episodes 20-21]; in the George Eastman Museum film archive [episode 108]; in the film holdings of Film Preservation Associates (Blackhawk Films collection) [16mm reduction positives, 8mm reduction positives (episodes 9, 26 and 33)]; in the EYE Film Instituut Nederland film archive [unidentified episode]; and in private film collections [16mm reduction positives (episodes 9, 31 and 33)].

Current rights holder: Public domain.

Keywords: Crime: Counterfeiting - Railroads - Serials - Telegraphs: Telegraphers - Transportation: Trains

Listing updated: 19 September 2015.

References: Braff-Short n. 10; Brownlow-Parade p. 316; Edmonds-BigU p. 116; Fell-History p. 90; Lahue-Bound p. 85; Lahue-Collecting p. 46; Lahue-Continued pp. 22, 23-25, 26, 62b, 155-157, 285; Lahue-World pp. 27, 66; Pitts-Hollywood p. 145; Sklar-Movie p. 89; Stedman-Serials pp. 7, 35; Tarbox-Lost pp. 222, 231, 237 : Website-SerSq : with additional information provided by Ivo Blom, Tim Boone and Bruce Calvert.

Home video: DVD.

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