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High Voltage (1929)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 29 June 1929 (USA)
A busload of passengers gets stranded in a snowstorm and take refuge in an abandoned church, where they run into a mysterious man who may be on the run from the law.

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Writers:

(story) (as Elliott Clawson), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Bill (The Boy) (as Bill Boyd)
...
Billie Davis (The Girl) (as Carol Lombard)
...
Det. Dan Egan (The Detective)
Phillips Smalley ...
J. Milton Hendrickson(The Banker)
...
Gus (The Driver)
Diane Ellis ...
The Kid
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Storyline

A small busload of passengers, which includes an escaped female convict and the lawman who has re-captured her, gets stuck in a heavy snowfall. The driver and passengers take refuge in a church building, but they quickly find out that they are not alone, as another man has already taken refuge there with a stock of food. His confrontational attitude towards the newcomers quickly complicates the already strained relationships amongst the stranded passengers. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"You've Got to Be Treated Like a Man ---Here! (original lobby card) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 June 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Wanted  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Carole Lombard (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

My Mother Was A Lady (or If Jack Were Only Here)
(uncredited)
Words by Edward B. Marks and Music by Joseph W. Stern
Performed by Billy Bevan
See more »

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User Reviews

Gimme Shelter
10 July 2001 | by (Kissimmee, Florida) – See all my reviews

HIGH VOLTAGE (Pathe, 1929), directed by Howard Higgin, is an early film talkie about a bus carrying numerous passengers attempting to cross Nevada's alkali flats in the dead of winter. Among the passengers are Billie (Carole Lombard), a lady fugitive being taken back to prison in handcuffs by Detective Dan Egan (Owen Moore); a young girl called "The Kid" (Diane Ellis); J. Milton Hendrickson, a rich banker (Phillips Smalley), who feels money can buy him anything; and a bus driver (Billy Bevan) who constantly refrains, "Please, Paaaleaze." The bus gets caught in a blizzard some miles from the nearest town. Seeking shelter by walking through deep snow, the passengers stumble onto an abandoned church to keep warm. While there they notice the church is occupied by a mysterious man named Bill (William Boyd) who might also be a fugitive from justice. But for the time being, the guests must take orders from the level-headed Bill in order to survive the ordeal of possibly freezing to death.

HIGH VOLTAGE is not top-of-the-art cinema, in fact, forgetting when this was made (1929), it's either horrible or unbearable, whichever a viewer prefers. In spite of an interesting premise, the movie is hampered by bad dialog that at times is laughable, and at 63 minutes, the film seems a lot longer that what it is. William Boyd, the cinema's future cowboy matinée, Hopalong Cassidy, and Carole Lombard (billed Carol), the future screwball comedienne in such classics as MY MAN GODFREY (1936) and NOTHING SACRED (1937), are both effective as the tough guy and gal, but in spite of their presence, they can't seem to rise above inferior material. Other low points include Owen Moore passing the time singing an Irish song or two by the church organ. There are times in which the movie suffers from some distorted sound recording, especially during the outdoor scenes when the passengers walk about to get exercise, throwing snow balls at each other, and finding The Kid suddenly falling through the ice, etc., the latter being one of the few scenes to perk up some excitement.

Distributed to home video in the early 1980s, and later onto the DVD format, HIGH VOLTAGE, formerly broadcast on out-of-service cable stations as Tempo Television (1988) and Channel America (1990-91), is a public domain title recommended for lovers of bad cinema, or to film buffs interested in this only as a curio, especially when a very young and unrecognizable Carole Lombard is concerned. (*)


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