This film is part of Free

Lieutenant Lilly and the Sploge of Opium

The intrepid Lt Lilly is called upon to quell a Chinese Boxer rebellion in a spoof adventure serial.

Comedy 1913 11 mins Silent


This agreeably daft comedy pokes fun at popular adventure serials of the early 1910s. Our (inevitably) dashing and intrepid hero learns of a Chinese rebellion and flies to rescue his distressed love, Dolores, from some very unconvincing Chinese. The association of the Chinese with drugs and vice was a feature of the same 'Yellow Peril' moral panics that gave rise to Sax Rohmer's Fu-Manchu.

Filmed for the Hepworth Company by Hay Plumb, the film was made very quickly on a very modest budget - and wasn't ashamed to show it. But its knowing swipe at more serious adventurers such as Lieutenant Rose (who took on some Chinese pirates in one episode - inevitably played, as here, by white actors in make-up) and Lieutenant Daring would strike a chord with audiences. The era's most prolific parodist, Fred Evans (aka Pimple), released a number of similar spoofs under the guise of Lt Pimple.