Haunted Valley (1923)

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A young girl pledges both her Haunted Valley estate and her virginity in order to borrow one million dollars for the building of a dam in this action serial released in 15 chapters by the Pathé organization. Naturally, the lender desires both the money and the girl, who must contend with a series of perils before she can finally finish the building project. Ruth Roland was the girl, Jack Daugherty, her knight in shining armor, and Larry Steers played the villain, all appearing under the direction of a very young George Marshall. Although released six months before Ruth of the Range (1923), the hugely successful Haunted Valley was the last of Roland's 12 serials, the brunette star refusing to renew her contract in order to concentrate on various business interests. She returned after the advent of talkies but critics panned her old-fashioned acting in Reno (1930) and she retired for good.