The Flaming Disc (1920)

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Elmo Lincoln, the screen's first Tarzan, plays both the hero and the villain's henchman in this serial released in 18 chapters by Universal. One of those crazed professors so beloved by pulp writers has invented a lens capable of reducing iron and steel to ashes, a contraption coveted by yet another master criminal. Opposing the forces of evil are Secret Service agent Elmo Gray (Lincoln) and the professor's daughter (Louise Lorraine), but the team is frustrated at every turn by the agent's identical twin brother (also Lincoln), who has been hypnotized into doing the villain's bidding. Law and order, however, prevail in the final chapter which, not too surprisingly, is entitled "The End of the Trail." Lee Kohlmar plays the professor, Roy Watson is the master criminal, and the entire concoction is directed with a firm sense of melodrama by newcomer Robert F. Hill.