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"The Mystery Train" is an alluring title for a movie. And it has the premise for a good plot. Unfortunately, it goes the way of so many other poverty row productions of the early Hollywood years. The screenplay is poorly done, and the script is very weak. The technical aspects are poor, the cinematography is low rate and the directing and acting are examples of why so many lesser studios and would-be stars didn't last long.
The only person of any stature in the film is Hedda Hopper. She never attained stardom as an actress, but kept plugging away with small roles into old age. She had 146 film credits in her lifetime. Of course, she was most known as a Hollywood gossip columnist. That was from the mid- 1930s to the mid-1950s. And she kept doing small parts in movies here and there while peddling her popular and lucrative gossip business.
Hopper had a rival Louella Parsons, who came on the gossip scene much sooner. But, Parsons didn't have an acting career. The interest in this film is mostly to see Hopper in one of her roles. She wasn't in any major hits or high quality movies. So, movie buffs might have to look hard to find films in which she has a role.
I was curious about some of the actors, so I looked them up on IMDb. Some of them had long stints in silent films, but didn't go much beyond that. Al Cooke had 152 film credits but his last appearance was in a 1933 short. Bryant Washburn had 377 credits, mostly bit parts through the 1940s. Marceline Day, the heroine in this film, had 64 credits but had a short-lived career of just 25 years. Nick Stuart, a Romanian born actor, had 52 credits all small roles and bit parts through the 1950s.
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