The Secret Kingdom (1917)

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A Vitagraph serial released in 15 installments between January 13 and April 9, 1917, The Secret Kingdom starred Charles J. Richman, a handsome former leading man for Norma Talmadge, as Crown Prince Philip of Aloma. The prince was whisked away to America as a child in order to avoid a planned takeover by wicked Prime Minister Prince Simond (Joseph Kilgour). Years later, the crown prince, now known as the All-American Phil Barr, rescues lovely Princess Julia (Dorothy Kelly, the daughter of Simond from a fate worse than death. Realizing that the crown prince is still very much alive under an assumed name, Simond conspires with the fatally beautiful Madame Savatz (Arline Pretty) to finally rid himself of his longtime rival. Directed in tandem by Theodore Marston and Charles J. Brabin, The Secret Kingdom kept the audience interested by constantly changing its setting from a mythical European kingdom to the American West.