Cliffhanger Corner

To know where you are going, you must know where you’ve been.
The cliffhanger has become an important part of many of today’s television shows.
Series end their seasons with cliffhangers guaranteed to draw viewers back when the new fall season begins.
Where did this concept originate?
In the movie serials of the 1920s, ’30s, ’40s and ’50s, produced by studios such as Universal, Mascot, Republic and Columbia, as well as several independent companies.
The serials were stables of the Saturday matinees where kids gathered to cheer on their favorite heroes — Flash Gordon, Zorro, Captain Marvel, Captain America, Nyoka, Spy Smasher, Dick Tracy and others — and boo the villains who sought a rare item or craved world domination.
These pages will look back at some of these exciting chapterplays where good always triumphed no matter what the obstacles.