Blake of Scotland Yard (1927)

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Hayden Stevenson played the title role in this, one of Universal's most popular silent serials. A mystery villain, known only as the Spider (Al Hart), is out to steal Lord Blanton's (Herbert Prior) secret formula for the manufacturing of gold. Blanton's plucky daughter, Lady Diana (Gloria Grey), hires Angus Blake, a retired Scotland Yard detective, to capture the Spider, which the eminent sleuth finally manages to do in chapter 12, "The Final Reckoning." Along the way, Blake is aided at key moments by the helpful but enigmatic Lady in White (Grace Cunard). Produced for around 100,000 dollars, Blake of Scotland Yard grossed more than three million dollars worldwide and necessitated a sequel, The Ace of Scotland Yard (1929). A remake starring Herbert Rawlinson was produced by low-budget Victory Pictures in 1937.