Secret of Black Mountain (1917)

Genres - Western  |   Countries - United States   |  
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Directed by character actor Otto Hoffman, this silent Western was produced at Long Beach, California, by the Balboa Amusement Producing Company, a busy firm that lasted from 1913 to 1918. Vola Vale starred as Miriam Vale, who takes a job as a schoolmistress in a Western outpost in order to investigate the death of her grandfather, a prospector. She quickly discovers that the killer, one Henry Stanley (J.B. Warner), is a member of an avaricious family with designs on grandpa's hidden mine. With the help of cousin Blake Stanley (Philo McCullough), Miriam learns the truth of her grandfather's murder, and together they locate the hidden treasure. Both leading man Philo McCullough and supporting villain J.B. Warner would enjoy further success in Westerns in the '20s, the former as a dyed-in-the-wool villain and the latter as a Western star in his own right. Warner's success proved short lived, however; he died of tuberculosis in November of 1924.