The Southwestern Pacific Railroad is in doldrums. Three trains have run off the rails in as many weeks, causing a lot of damage to the coffers and the reputation of the company. When the third accident occurs, the management decides to hold an inquiry. Few people on the board believe the driver Smokey’s (J. Farrel MacDonald) explanation. Bruce (William Collier) , the son of the railroad president, volunteers to investigate the cause of the accidents. Posing as a mechanic, Bruce solves the mystery of the ‘Phantom Express’ just in time to save the Railroad from falling into the hands of unscrupulous villains.
Running Time: 70 Minutes
MPAA Ratings: NR
"Rarely do you see great performances, fascinating photography and outstanding direction coming together in one cinematographic effort as they do in "The Phantom Express". The title itself arouses curiosity and the plot does justice to the title. The theme has obviously been well researched. The scenes of trains as they speed through the countryside are simply thrilling for any body that has had the fortune of riding on a train pulled by a steam engine.
J. Farrel MacDonald plays the role of the soft-spoken engineer "smoky" exceptionally well. One scene in particular is noteworthy - the one in which Smoky returns home after being fired. Some fascinating photography- especially the shots of the engine racing at full throttle through a storm - and a truly unusual plot create a special place for this movie among mystery movies from the 30s. What really takes the cake, however, is the unexpected twist to the story at the end. Witness this fascinating drama, which is certain to grab your attention and retain it till the end."
"Trains have always fascinated me and when I was told that this was a movie about a railroad company, I just had to have a copy. I wasn’t disappointed. The director has done a fabulous job of capturing the daily grind of railroad workers and the plot is just out of this world. Unlike other low-budget suspense thrillers, this movie keeps you guessing, not about whodunit, but how it was done, till the very end. Yes, the plot may seem absurd by today’s hi-tech standards, but you have to admit that it was far ahead of its time. This timeless classic film is surely worth a second viewing!"
Customer's Name : Harry Spasky (New York)
"I seldom view movies that date back to anytime before 1970, but I chanced to view this one at a friend’s and was thoroughly impressed with the plot and some great performances, especially the one by J. Farrel MacDonald. His portrayal of a soft-spoken, engineer to whom the call of duty comes before anything else is truly laudable. I have to admit that they did make a few great movies back in the 30s and this is a good example. I think it took away a little of my bias and I just may be ready to take in another gem from the thirties. I am told that a2zcds have loads of such thrillers on DVDs and I plan to sample a few this week!" Gerald McArthur,(San Antonio, Texas)
William Collier Jr.
J. Farrell MacDonald
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