(Chaney on far right with back to camera)
Produced by Robert Brunton; Released weekly by Pathe, beginning 2/15/20; Director: W. S. Van Dyke; Screenplay:Jack Cunningham, from a story by Frederic Chapin and Harry Hoyt; Print Source: UCLA Film and Television archives (incomplete)
A 15-chapter serial: Chapter 1: The Mysterious Bracelets; Chapter 2: The Ball of Death; Chapter 3: Wheels of Fate; Chapter 4: Shanghaied; Chapter 5: The Race for Glory; Chapter 6: A Skirmish of Wits; Chapter 7: A Blow in the Dark; Chapter 8: Blinding Hate; Chapter 9: Phantoms of Treachery; Chapter 10: Paths of Destruction; Chapter 11: Flames of Wrath; Chapter 12: The Unseen Menace; Chapter 13: Baiting the Trap; Chapter 14: A Terrible Vengeance; Chapter 15: The Triple Chase
CAST: Jack Dempsey (Jack Derry), Herschel Mayall (Leonard Billings), Albert Cody (Edgar), Frederic Starr (James Meeney), Edward Hearn (Cyril Dennison), Clyde Benson (The Butler), Josie Sedgwick (Glory Billings), Ruth Langston (Molly), Lon Chaney (Royce Rivers), Aggie Herring (Mrs. Corcoran), Frank Lanning, "Spike" Robinson, Al Kaufman, S. E. Jennings (Meeney's Gangsters),
SYNOPSIS: Jack Derry, star fullback at his college, is sprinting along a country road when he sees Glory Billings in the hands of three thugs. Jack rescues the girl and escorts her to her home, where he meets her foster brother, Edgar Billings, and his father, Leonard Billings. The elder Billings assumes that the men were trying to get Glory's bracelet which, when combined with a matching braclet, shows the location of a great underground oil lake Glory's father had found. Jack's father has earlier been sent to prison, and Jack learns that Billings is responsible. Glory is lured to the tenement district by Meeney and his gang of cutthroats. The Meeney gang tries to kill Jack with an exploding football, substituted during the big game, but their trick is exposed. Jack learns that a miner named Jordan, living in Wyoming, knows the truth about how his father was framed, and has been blackmailing Billings. Meeney has Jack shanghaied and put on a steamer, where Jack holds the crew at bay using explosives he finds in the hold. Having escaped, Jack needs funds to make the trip west, so he enters a boxing match against Battling Barrows, with a $200 purse going to winner. He wins the bout, and heads west after learning that Glory and Billings are also headed for Wyoming. McManus, Meeney's Indian henchman, trap Glory and her maid Molly on the observation platform in an attempt to steal the bracelet, and when Jack attempts a rescue, McManus hurls him from the train. Glory and Molly have been captured by the gang and taken to the only hotel in St. Cristianna, where Jack has found work as a waiter. They escape, but are later captured by a gang of Mexican bandits. The bandit leader is the fiendish Royce Rivers, who forces himself on Glory, but through trickery, she frees Jack and they escape together. Jack is arrested on a trumped up charge, and Rivers, who has obtained a letter proving Jack's father's innocence, agrees to free Jack and give him the letter in exchange for Glory's braclet. Jack is released, and finds Jordan, who is forced to write a letter testifying to the innocence of Jack's father. Jack escapes with the letter, but it is unsigned, and Jack needs money to hire a writing expert to document that it is in Jordan's hand. He again enters a prize fight with a local boxer and wins the funds to begin a legal battle to free his father. Glory and Molly have been hiding at a ranch in the foothills, but are discovered by Edgar who kidnaps Glory. The butler, who has been helping Glory out of trouble whenever he can, reveals himself to be Kent, partner of Glory's father, and part owner of the oil claim owned by Glory. Before he can prove his claim, Billings steals the bracelets, and learns that the oil lake lies under the property of Jim Collins. Before he can purchase the land, Jack reaches Collins and gets an option to buy the property. Jordan's testimony is authenticated, Jack's father is freed, and Billings and Rivers are arrested.
"The star of the serial is surrounded by a coterie of players of ability and note, who fit without a wrinkle into the characterization of the...story. There are improbabilities in the plot, such as are found in the majority of screen serials, but the picture is well directed and thoroughly interesting." ---Moving Picture World
NOTES: Portions of chapters 1, 2, and 4 exist at the UCLA Film Archive, but Chaney does not appear in this extant footage. This was Chaney's only serial.
© 1996,2008 Jon C. Mirsalis
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