The Crimson Stain Mystery (1916)

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Early silent film company Erbograph starred matinee idol Maurice Costello as a reporter witnessing a murder in The Crimson Stain Mystery, which, according to its publicity, was "a thrilling story of intense interest in 16 episodes." As serial heroes go, Costello was a bit on in years, even in 1916, and his Harold Stanley was perhaps slightly less intrepid than most cinematic cub reporters. With the assistance of pretty Florence Montrose (Ethel Grandin), daughter of that eminent physician Dr. Burton Montrose (Thomas J. McCrane), Stanley nevertheless manages to unmask the homicidal fiend known only as "The Crimson Stain," a villain made insane by taking an experimental drug developed by Dr. Montrose. A major star for the Vitagraph Company in the early 1910s, Maurice Costello was the father of screen actresses Dolores Costello and Helene Costello.