Though J. Edgar Hoover would later insist that the Mafia never existed, that didn't stop the Variety reviewer from labeling the 1914 drama Circle 17 as a "Mafia Story." The narrative begins in Italy, where a man and his daughter are targeted for death by you-know-who. Escaping to the U.S., the two protagonists discover that they cannot escape the vendetta. But while the father is rubbed out early in the proceedings, the daughter is repeatedly rescued by a handsome young Marine officer, who is nuts about her. Replete with trap doors, clutching hands, and sliding panels, Circle 17 packed plenty of thrills into its brief two reels.
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