The Fatal Fortune (1919)

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Synopsis by Hans J. Wollstein

Former railroad queen Helen Holmes exchanged locomotives with South Seas Island mystique in this chapterplay from low-budget S.K.L. Serial Corp. The irrepressible Miss Holmes plays a girl reporter who learns of a treasure hidden somewhere on faraway Devil's Isle. Unfortunately, Holmes isn't the only person determined to locate the treasure -- wealth accumulated by an eccentric millionaire -- and for 15 chapters she is forced to contend with a mystery villain known only as the Faceless Terror. Happily, the plucky heroine is aided in her quest by real-life WWI flying ace Jack Levering, who swoops down on the island in his fighter plane, defeating the "Terror" in chapter 15, appropriately entitled "Unmasked." The serial earned mostly positive reviews but fans would not accept Helen Holmes in anything but railroad stories and it ultimately lost money. Leading man Jack Levering was reportedly decorated for his bravery by England's George V but he was no actor and his Hollywood career proved unsuccessful.