Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Paradise Express (1937)

     Paradise Express (1937) [D: Joseph Kane. Grant Withers, Dorothy Appleby, et al] I’ve been watching old movies downloaded from the web. This one is a B-movie barely an hour long. A shortline railroad is in receivership because of business lost to a trucking company run by gangsters. The receiver takes his job seriously, he wants to resuscitate the business. But gangsters don’t like having their plans thwarted. Two good men die in a train wreck, and a subsequent race between the train and the trucks almost results in more deaths, but of course the hero gets the girl as well as a railroad with a future. I suppose in 1937 the victory of the railroad was still plausible.
     Writing, acting, and photography get the job done. Characters are cardboard, the wrecked trains are models, and the engineer-in-the-cab shots are made in the studio. But the stock railroad footage looks good, and someone paid attention to continuity. The movie doesn’t require close attention from the audience, but it wasn’t intended as anything more than a pleasant time-filler. If you like trains, you may want to look for this movie. *½

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