The Gray Ghost (1917)

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Produced by Universal and starring the studio's leading lady at the time, the now-forgotten Priscilla Dean, this adventure serial featured a master criminal, "The Gray Ghost" (Harry Carter), who steals a necklace valued at two million dollars in broad daylight. The necklace was a wedding present to Lady Gwendolyn (the statuesque Gertrude Astor), and it is up to Morn Light (Dean) and her stalwart beau, Fred Olmstead (J. Morris Foster), to recover it. The latter is briefly accused of a bank robbery actually committed by the mysterious "Grey Ghost," but everything is worked out in the 16th and final chapter, "From Out of the Past." If nothing else, this serial proved that some actors actually did their own stunts. Dean fractured an arm performing one of the thrills in chapter seven, "Caught in the Web," and was out of commission until chapter 12, "The Poisoned Ring." A future star of Universal serials, Eddie Polo headed the supporting cast, which also included Emory Johnson, Wilton Taylor, Dick LaReno, and Francis McDonald.