The beautiful Otis Litho-one sheet poster (Lot 95) above just sold at the November 2016 Haversat & Ewing Auction for $28,080. It came from the collection of Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz, which I was fortunate enough to see in person. Congratulations to the winner!
The Episode 3 scene depicted in the poster is missing from the current Kino DVD release of the film. Below is a description from my personal notes that may help put the scene in context:
Zita Dane tells Herbert Balcom “Before Brent went mad he made a list of inventions which we have suppressed.” Herbert says “That list would put me behind bars.”
Locke [Houdini] has combo to safe that Eva is about to open when Herbert and Zita walk in.
Eva opens safe and Herbert oversees numbers and writes them down. Eva hands Herbert a Letter:
Board of Directors
Internantional Patents, Inc
New York City.
In view of the Government’s anti-trust investigation I have prepared this list of inventions we have suppressed. I think we should discuss at our annual meeting the advisability of surrendering our rights to these inventions, no matter what may happen to the corporations we have been protecting.
Very truly yours,
Herbert says “Should that letter reach the Department of Justice we are ruined.”
Eva puts letter and money back in safe and everyone leaves except Locke and Eva.
Locke [Houdini] tells Eva, “This electrical device will notify me, as well as hold anyone who attempts to open the safe. In this way I hope to discover who is in the automation.”
In fact most of Episode 3 is missing from the Kino DVD release, but is available on the print at the UCLA Film Archives:
Balcom and Brent, owners of International Patents, a firm that has made a fortune by keeping patented inventions off the market, quarrel, the outcome of which leaves Brent stricken by the “Madagascar (or laughing) madness.” A giant automaton whose secret retreat is under the Brent house is responsible for the crimes committed and Quentin Locke, the newly engaged head of the laboratories endeavors to aid Eva, daughter of Brent, in solving the mystery. In attempting to find an antidote to restore Eva’s father to sanity, Locke has been thrown from a dock by the emissaries of the automaton. Miraculously he escapes. One of the emissaries is captured and put in jail, and Locke impersonates him in order to get to the automaton at the acid mills. Eva is coerced into going to the acid mills to meet Locke, but instead is abducted by the automaton. Locke is left suspended over a seething vat of acid, with Eva unwittingly the key to his demise should she open the door to where Locke has been shackled.