Fighting Marine (1926)

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Gene Tunney, the world's heavyweight boxing champion at the time, strutted his stuff in this ten-chapter Pathé serial courtesy of action director Spencer Gordon Bennet and veteran serial scribe Frank Leon Smith. The glamorous prize-fighter played Dick Farrington, a reporter coming to the aid of lovely Lady Chatfield (Marjorie Gay), who is forced to reside in a rough mining town for six months or forfeit her inheritance. Naturally, there are those determined to prevent the girl from reaching her goal, but Farrington manages to beat all comers -- 13 in the first three chapters alone according to one report. One of the icons of silent serials, Walter Miller played the second lead for a change, having lost the starring role to the popular Tunney. The latter reportedly earned a straight salary of 2,000 dollars per week for 12 weeks and an additional 25 percent of the gross receipts, proving well worth the expenditure when he beat Jack Dempsey in a title bout in Philadelphia mere days before The Fighting Marine hit the neighborhood theaters.