The Invisible Hand (1920)

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Vitagraph star Antonio Moreno faced one of silent serial history's craftiest master villains in this chapterplay released in 15 chapters. Moreno played John Sharpe, "the most renowned analytical detective in the country," called into service by Assistant Secret Service Chief Burnett (Jay Morley), who is deeply troubled by a series of gold shipment thefts. A gang of crooks led by the mysterious "Iron Hand" (Brinsley Shaw) has been playing the authorities for fools long enough and Sharpe is given a free hand to wipe out the lawlessness. "No matter how you get them -- dead or alive -- nobody will care, just get them, that is all I ask," Burnett tells his operative. But it takes Sharpe 14 chapters to unmask the Hand, sometimes aided but more often than not hindered by fellow operative Violet "X" Ray (Pauline Curley), who has a knack for getting herself in trouble. Filmed in and around New York City, The Invisible Hand also featured such serial stalwarts as Sam Polo and Gordon Sackville.