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Scenes from Chapter 18.
Photograph: Silent Era image collection.
 
The Diamond from the Sky
(1915) American
B&W : Serial / 60 reels
Directed by William Dean Tanner (William Desmond Taylor) and Jacques Jaccard

Cast: Lottie Pickford [Esther Stanley], Irving Cummings [Arthur Stanley II, also known as John Powell], William Russell [Blair Stanley], Charlotte Burton [Vivian Marston], Eugenie Forde [Hagar Harding], George Periolat [Luke Lovell], Orral Humphrey [Marmaduke Smythe], W.J. Tedmarsh (William Tedmarsh) [Quabba, the hunchback], Hart Hoxie (Jack Hoxie) [Matt Hardigan], Lillian Buckingham, George Field, Rhea Mitchell, Roy Stewart, Charles Watt

American Film Company, Incorporated, production. / From a novel by Roy L. McCardell. / 30 episodes (two reels each); [1] “The Heritage of Hate,” released 3 May 1915; [2] “An Eye for an Eye”; [3] “The Silent Witness”; [4] “The Prodigal’s Progress”; [5] “For the Sake of a False Friend”; [6] “Shadows at Sunrise”; [7] “The Fox and the Pig”; [8] “A Mind in the Past”; [9] “A Runaway Match”; [10] “Old Foes With New Faces”; [11] “The Web of Destiny; or, Plaything of the Papoose”; [12] “To the Highest Bidder”; [13] “The Man in the Mask”; [14] “For Love and Money”; [15] “Desperate Chances”; [16] “The Path of Peril”; [17] “King of Diamonds and the Queen of Hearts”; [18] “The Charm Against Harm”; [19] “Fire, Fury and Confusion”; [20] “The Soul Stranglers”; [21] “The Lion’s Bride”; [22] “The Rose in the Dust”; [23] “The Double Cross”; [24] “The Mad Millionaire”; [25] “A House of Cards”; [26] “The Garden of the Gods”; [27] “Mine Own People”; [28] “The Falling Aeroplane”; [29] “A Deal with Destiny”; [30] “The American Earl.” / Standard 35mm spherical 1.37:1 format.

Drama: Adventure.

Synopsis: [From American Film promotional materials (Chapters 1-17)] Col. Arthur Stanley and his cousin, Judge Stanley, Virginians, are bitter enemies over the possession of a wonderful diamond found centuries ago in a fallen meteor. To deceive his cousin, Col. Stanley buys a gypsy baby boy as an heir to the precious stone. He christens the false heir Arthur. Hagar, the gypsy mother, kidnaps Esther, Col. Stanley’s daughter, and “The Diamond From The Sky.” Years later, both are returned to Doctor Lee, who is Esther’s legal guardian. Over the possession of the jewel, wild adventures follow fast. Blair, the judge’s son, kills Doctor Lee and steals the diamond. Arthur Stanley is suspected. Arthur loves Esther. He goes to the far West, where he becomes immensely rich through vast oil fields which he owns under the name of John Powell. “The Diamond From The Sky” is lost and finally recovered by Esther. She and Quabba, her hunchback protector, have gone West in search of Arthur. On Arthur’s palatial yacht, Esther encounters Blair, who, with Luke Lovell and Vivian Marston, the adventuress, seeks the jewel. Blair attempts to jerk the diamond from Esther’s neck. She thwarts him by plunging headlong into the deep, cold waters of the bay. / Synopsis of Chapter 18 — “The Charm Against Harm.” Esther is rescued by Quabba, who carries her safely to shore. On the deck of Arthur’s yacht, Blair and Luke Lovell engage in a mighty struggle. Lokced in a fighting clinch, both fall into the water. Blair deals Luke a cruel blow in the face and swims back to the yacht’s ladder. With much difficulty, Luke reaches shore. Arthur, at the mines, learns of Esther’s presence in the west and goes at once to seek her. Meanwhile, Quabba and Esther in the mountains, have gone to the town of Mammoth, where Peter Huff is proprietor of a notorious resort known as “Pete’s Palace.” Frank Durand, “The King of Diamonds” also reaches “Pete’s Palace”, where Luke Lovell has obtained employment. At length come Arthur and Marmaduke Smythe. Esther and Quabba have entered the resort to obtain the necessary nourishment. A half-drunk cowboy offers insult to Esther. Luke Lovell steps in. A free-for-all fight follows, the drink-crazed men and women struggling about and in all parts of the spacious hall. Arthur sees Esther’s peril and leaps into the fray. He deals about him right and left with telling effect, but the odds are against him. The surging crowd crashes into one of the walls of the structure. The wall gives way. The building falls. Arthur and most of the struggling crowd are buried beneath the fallen timbers.

Survival status: The film is presumed lost.

Current rights holder: Public domain.

Keywords: Gypsies - Serials - Transportation: Airplanes, Trains

Listing updated: 22 June 2012.

References: Ball-Shakespeare pp. 339, 386; Lahue-Bound pp. 49, 72; Lahue-Continued pp. 6, 31-32, 62f, 161-162, 284; Stedman-Serials p. 35; Tarbox-Lost pp. 11, 230, 231 : Website-IMDb; Website-SerSq.

 
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