Around the World in Eighteen Days (1923)

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Released in 12 chapters, two reels each, this Universal serial starred the veteran William Desmond as Phineas Fogg III, the equally enterprising grandson of Jules Verne's famous circumnavigator. Veteran character player Alfred Hollingsworth played Phineas Fogg II. A child of the industrial age, the younger Fogg pledges to circle the globe in no less than 18 days in an effort to consolidate a company producing synthetic fuel. But while Phineas III endeavors to use the groundbreaking fuel for the benefit of all mankind, a nasty vice president (Wade Boteler) attempts to steal the invention for his own nefarious purposes. Chased by the villain around the globe, Phineas is aided in his quest by lovely Laura La Plante, a rising Universal ingénue with a bright future in light comedy.