The Diamond Queen (1921)

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Directed by cameraman Edward Kull, this melodramatic Universal serial featured Eileen Sedgwick as the daughter of the inventor of a machine able to turn ordinary dust into diamonds. Naturally, a host of villains are out to get their grubby hands on this wonderful invention, chasing Eileen and her detective friend (George Chesebro) to the Dark Continent, where the girl becomes elected queen of a tribe of cannibals. After 18 chapters filled with mayhem, Sedgwick and Chesebro finally defeat the villainous diamond kartel that threatened to flood the market with artificial diamonds. Leading man George Chesebro later became a popular B-Western villain. This serial was popular enough to be remade by Universal in 1929 as The Diamond Master.