In 1921, William Henry Pratt, later known as Boris Karloff, was a silent film actor who had just landed his major role. It was in a 15-chapter serial called “The Hope Diamond Mystery.” The serial was very unusual in that its cast, like the gothic/horror soap opera “Dark Shadows” did some 46 years later, would play roles in two different time periods. One story is set in the 1600s and centered around the origins of the diamond and the other story is set in early 20th century America with a mystery surrounding the famous diamond. Karloff played a priest in 1600s India and a possible descendent in the modern-day storyline. It is worth noting that the serial also has resemblance to another and more famous Karloff vehicle: “The Mummy.” Of additional interest is the fact that the woman married to the last Lord Hope to own the diamond, May Yohé, plays herself and is also credited for the story/screenplay.
This was long thought to be a lost serial but during the first decade of the 21st Century, the serial fan group The Serial Squadron, managed to locate a copy of the complete serial. In 2014, they announced that they were restoring the serial with an eye to selling copies on DVD, as they had done with other projects. Here is the link to the Serial Squadron and here is a link to the pledge/donation page they are using to fund the restoration. Hopefully you too will enjoy this lost film of Boris Karloff made ten years before he became the Frankenstein Creature. There are only 21 days left to preorder the DVD release and the link to the preorder page will be removed on April 1.