Hand of Peril (1916)

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The second of Maurice Tourneur's five directorial efforts for the year 1916 was the crime melodrama The Hand of Peril. House Peters stars as James Kestner, American Secret Service agent. Assigned to locate a band of counterfeiters, Kestner stumbles into the villains' lair by accident. To keep himself alive, he pretends to be a crook himself and joins the gang, which is led by a beautiful young engraver named Maura Lambert (June Elvidge), aka "The Hand of Peril." It is only a matter of time, then, until Maura will fall in love with Kestner and reform for his sake. The film was highlighted by a remarkable sequence in which director Tourneur showed nine rooms in the same house all at once -- an elaboration upon a cinematic device he'd previously used in his 1915 classic Alias Jimmy Valentine.