The Fighting Trail (1917)

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Strapping silent screen hero William Duncan both directed and starred in this 15-chapter Vitagraph serial, a mix between Wild West hi-jinks and wartime propaganda. Duncan played John Gwyn, a mining engineer who discovers a hidden quarry containing valuable minerals used in a powerful explosive that may decide the outcome of the war in Europe. Soon any number of enemy spies are trailing Gwyn, desperate to get hold of the map to the mine. The hero is aided in his quest by Nan Ybarra, the daughter of the rancher on whose land the mine is located. Duncan went on to make Vengeance and the Woman (1917), another 15-chapter serial for Vitagraph.