21 user 4 critic

Danger Lights (1930)

Passed | | Adventure, Drama | 21 August 1930 (USA)
The tough boss of a railroad yard befriends a young hobo, and unwittingly places in jeopardy his relationship with the woman he loves.



(story and dialogue)

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Complete credited cast:
Professor - the Hobo
Ed Ryan
Engineer Tom Johnson
Alan Roscoe ...
Jim - General Manager
William P. Burt ...
Chief Dispatcher
Joe Geraghty (as James Farley)


Head railroad man Dan is as ugly as he is honorable. When he spots a drifter who'd hopped a freight held up by a landslide, Dan offers the man a job; then he finds the man was a railroader, too, and takes him under his wing. Engaged to Mary, Dan doesn't notice the growing attraction between his protégé and his intended, but focuses instead on running the railroad. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


World's Greatest Railroad Talk Thriller


Adventure | Drama


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 August 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fugindo ao Perigo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the 15 December 1930 New York Times review of the film, critic Mordaunt Hall wrote that Danger Lights was "pictured" in the Spoor-Berggren process, adding that the film filled the screen from side to side of the Mayfair Theatre in New York City. Hall included a paragraph giving technical information about the wide-screen process. See more »


The locomotive that arrives in Chicago is not the same one that left on the trip. When Larry adds oil to the smoking "hotbox" en route, for example, the wheel has an outside journal box that he puts the oil into from a can. The loco that arrives in Chicago has an inside journal on this wheel (under the cab), a different type than the one the loco had earlier. See more »


Dan Thorn: Why, my pan looks like a street before they laid the pavement down.
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My DreamMemory
Music by Oscar Levant
Lyrics by Sidney Clare
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User Reviews

Great film for rail fans
22 August 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I, too, originally saw, and taped, the film from a local PBS channel, and agree with a previous reviewer that it is a difficult film to find. As to the film: the story-line is typical and the acting acceptable; the real "star" of the film is the railroad itself. Made in 1930 during the Age of Steam, the film vividly shows the long-vanished skill and dedication required to keep the trains running. Louis Wolheim plays the hard-as-nails superintendent (such men actually existed) who was absolutely dedicated to maintaining the schedules ("hold up the 'Olympian!' Are you off your nut!"). Filmed on location in Montana on the long-abandoned Milwaukee Road railway, this film is an absolute Must for rail fans who love steam.

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Message Boards

Recent Posts
Longer version? pitamakan-1
Wrong Direction of Train rfman45
Longer Version Now on DVD! rfman45
Magazine Article on 'Danger Lights' rfman45
'Danger Lights' in 'Milwaukee Magazine', October, 1930 l_grds
Louis Wolheim + others fbm72751
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