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Flash Gordon
Pearl White's "The Perils of Pauline" started the two-reel chapter play in 1914 as a reason to get people to keep coming back every week to see how the daring darling survived last week's cliff-hanger. The genre reached its sound zenith when Olympic swimming champion Buster Crabbe kept us on the edges of our seats each week in 1938 as "Flash Gordon." And everyone knows we owe "Star Wars" to that greatest of all chapter plays.

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