The first five chapters were shown recently for review and gave promise that the picture would receive the hearty endorsement of all those whose taste runs to serial plays. "The Great Secret" is evidently a good piece of craftsmanship. First of all, it has speed. The opening incidents rivet the attention and set a lively pace for the action, which is maintained throughout the ten reels already unwound for inspection. In naming the two-reel installment chapters the adapter has used the proper designation. The picture is told in story form and the different installments are continuous in action, the thread of the narrative being taken up by one chapter at the exact point where it was dropped by the previous release. The production is in keeping with the requirements of the serial. The scenes are laid in New York City and range from dens of vice to the homes of the wealthy. A touch of mystery is added to the plot by the introduction of a band of criminals known to the underworld as "The Secret Seven." This organization is controlled by men of high standing, whose social position is used to further their unlawful acts. The organization holds directors' meetings in a sumptuously furnished room that is equipped with sliding panels and those many devices that give all properly constructed melodramas much of their thrill. The principal character in "The Great Secret" is a wealthy young clubman who becomes the champion of a young girl through force of circumstances, in trying to deprive her of the fortune left her by her uncle, the powerful gang of crooks has her kidnapped and resort to other desperate expedients; but the young clubman is never very far away. He repeatedly takes his life in his hands while endeavoring to help the girl, and has more than one lively scrap with from three to a dozen of the gang. This is the part played by Francis X, Bushman. He fills the specifications laid down for such a hero in all particulars, and looks and acts William Montgomery Stone with great satisfaction to himself and to his many admirers. Beverly Bayne is an attractive, sympathetic and artistically excellent Beverly Clarke. – The Moving Picture World, January 20, 1917
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