Fight for Millions (1913)

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William Duncan (who also directed) and Edith Johnson made their first of eight action serials with A Fight for Millions, a Vitagraph effort in 15 chapters in which Miss Johnson must chose between two distant relatives -- one a Western outlaw, the other an Eastern fop -- or forfeit her inheritance. Neither proves worthy of her love -- in fact, both are unscrupulous moneygrubbers -- but in the final chapter, "The Sealed Envelope," Duncan discovers a loophole in the will and the damsel is finally free from distress. The stalwart actor/director married his leading lady offscreen as well, and together Duncan and Johnson became Hollywood's number one serial team until eclipsed in the mid-'20s by Pathé's Allene Ray and Walter Miller. A Fight for Millions also employed such action-oriented performers as Leo Maloney, Jack Hoxie, and Joe Ryan, all of whom would later star in series and serials of their own.