Starring Mollie King
March 1917
(Pathe - First Episode - Two Reels)

At the end of the first episode of "The Mystery of the Double Cross" you'll feel like camping out in front of your theatre and waiting for the next shipment from the exchange. There are the beginnings of romance, the very essence of mystery and the most startling of adventures in the short space of the two reels of "The Girl in Number 7." And so no serial would be worthy the name without romance, mystery and adventure, "The Mystery of the Double Cross" has a good start at least. What the succeeding numbers will unfold, whether they keep up the good work of the first or not, are matters that a mere reviewer cannot forecast. The nearest that those hankering after such intelligence can get to it is to remember Pathe's past record.

To approach the personnel of the cast there is Mollie King, there is Leon Bary, there is Gladden James, yet to put in an appearance, and there is the Masked Stranger -- ????? Masked Strangers seems to make for the success of serials these days. Witness the Silent Menace of "Pearl of the Army" and the no less celebrated Shielding shadow of "The Shielding Shadow." There were more of them, too, back in other Pathe serials, and so the Masked Stranger -- ????? of the present picture is not to be regarded lightly. He deserves to be featured along with Miss King and Mr. Bary. Miss King is delightful and Mr. Bary has completely shed his recently acquired villainous tactics for the more congenial role of hero.

William Parke is directing the serial from a story by Gilson Willets. Mr. Parke has good material to work with, and has made an excellent showing with it. His light effects are fine and the manner in which he has handled the submarine scare aboard ship is realistic to the extreme. Although a director hasn't the opportunity to show the originality in a serial that he has in a five-reel feature, it seems that one of his big tests arrives in the production of the fifteen-episode-keep-'em-coming affair. It must have the fastest of action, but it is so easy to clutter it up with a superfluity of ludicrous sensationalism and when such stuff is absent all credit goes to the director.

The Story and Players
Peter Hale (Leon Bary), a gentleman of leisure, while returning to America is baffled, together with others on the ship, by Phillipa Brewster (Mollie King), who has the room opposite his, but whose identity remains a thing of mystery to all the passengers. Peter receives a wireless telling him to watch for The Double Cross, and if he has not received this sign by the time his voyage is over to make haste to the Astra Hotel on his arrival in New York. Returning to his room one evening, Peter discovers the mysterious lady searching his belongings. She escapes from him. When a submarine scare sends all passengers to the lifeboats, Peter discovers that the girl bears the mark of the Double Cross on her arm. Arriving at the hotel, Peter meets his lawyer to arrange matters pertaining to his fortune, when he sees the face of Phillipa peering through the door leading to he adjoining room. He makes another effort to gain her presence, but is unsuccessful.

Return to reviews page