The Master Mystery

Ever read something in the past that strikes a note with the present.  Here is a movie series that disallowed scientific progress as it was bad, sound familiar.

The Master Mystery (1919)

The Master Mystery (1919) silent film made in America and used the serial format for showing resulting in 15 installments.

The plot is quite intriguing:  Quentin Locke, a government secret service agent, played by Houdini is sent to investigate an organization that is believe to be involved in an  international conspiracy to suppress all scientific progress in order to corner the market on the inventions.

This evil organization uses ‘The Automaton’ named Q, for protection.  The term robot was not used until a year later (1920) when it was created by Josef Čapek, whose brother Karel first used it for the title of his play R.U.R. The word however is noit new.  The root robota comes from the Slavic language meaning basically forced laborer.  There is also a biological gas weapon known as ‘The Madagascar Madness’ that is used for protection of this organization.

Houdini in many of the episodes is of course overpowered and left in a variety of impossible predicates to escape from, which of course he does escape.

The book “The Master Mystery”  written by Arthur B. Reeve and John W. Grey after the scenario created by Arthur B. Reeve and Chas. A. Logue.

Apparently portions of the film has been lost.. the original episodes were as follows.

Living Death
The Iron Terror
The Water Peril
The Test
The Chemist’s Shop
The Mad Genius
Barbed Wire
The Challenge
The Madagascan Madness
The Binding Ring
The Net
The Death Noose
The Flash of Death
The Tangled Web
Bound at Last; or, Unmasking of the Automaton

There are parts on line I will list them here

The Master Mystery (1919) (Part 1 of 20) (8:23)

The Master Mystery (1919) (Part 2 of 20) (8:41)

The Master Mystery (1919) (Part 3 of 20) (8:33)

The Master Mystery (1919) (Part 4 of 20) (6:20)

The Master Mystery (1919) (Part 5 of 20) (8:39)

At the 53 second count that ends the 1st episode ….. Episode 2 immediately begins
Houdini end up in a strait jacket
The Master Mystery (1919) (Part 6 of 20) (8:41)

The Master Mystery (1919) (Part 7 of 20) (8:35)

At the 5:34 count that ends the 2nd episode ….. Episode 3 immediately begins
Houdini end up tied to a wall

The Master Mystery (1919) (Part 8 of 20) (8:35)

At the 1:01 count onwards the rest of episode 3 is in fragments….. Houdini ends up in fire and water
Episode 4 begins at 3:24 no film
Episode 5 begins at 3:37 is a fragment to 6”06 when it ends
Episode 6 begins at 6:07 and ends at 6:47 scene with Houdini in the Chair of Death
Episode 7 begins at 6:53

 

The Master Mystery (1919) (Part 9 of 20) (8:34)

The Master Mystery (1919) (Part 10 of 20) (8:35)

 

The Master Mystery (1919) (Part 11 of 20) (8:35)

At the 2:54 count that ends the 7th episode ….. Episode 8 immediately begins
Houdini ends up wrapped in barbed wire

The Master Mystery (1919) (Part 12 of 20) (8:38)

The Master Mystery (1919) (Part 13 of 20) (8:38)


At the 7:23 count that ends the 8th episode ….. Episode 9 immediately begins
Houdini ends tied up to be crushed

The Master Mystery (1919) (Part 14 of 20) (8:36)

The Master Mystery (1919) (Part 15 of 20) (8:35)

The Master Mystery (1919) (Part 16 of 20) (8:34)

At the 24 second count that ends the 9th episode ….. Episode 10 immediately begins
Houdini ends tied up to a post

The Master Mystery (1919) (Part 17 of 20) (8:39)

The Master Mystery (1919) (Part 18 of 20) (8:39)

At the 2:42 episode 10 ends fragmented
Houdini ends up on a sofa supposedly stabbed
Episode 11 immediately begins with a short fragment to 3:07
Houdini is tied up in a net
At 3:08 Episode 12 begins

The Master Mystery (1919) (Part 19 of 20) (8:42)

The Master Mystery (1919) (Part 20 of 20) (8:38)

Episode ends at 8:38

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

The Master Mystery
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Master_Mystery
The Master Mystery
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0010446/
The Master Mystery
https://www.thegreatharryhoudini.com/mastermystery.html
A book created after the serial
https://books.google.com/books?id=6VIYAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

Houdini Was Also a Movie Star!
https://conandoylehoudini.wordpress.com/tag/the-master-mystery/

The Master Mystery
http://www.silentera.com/video/masterMysteryHV.html

The First Robot in Cinema
http://boingboing.net/2015/12/01/the-first-robot-in-cinema.html

The Master Mystery Book Display Aids Serial Exploitation
http://harryhoudinicircumstantialevidence.com/?cat=27

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About jasterling

One part of my life is in the science of anthropology and archaeology where I did comparative work. My other life that I am now pursuing is writing along the lines of fantasy/sci fi fictional writing as my one way to stay sane in this other insane world. Please enjoy the selections you will find in my blog.
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