A military nurse recovering at an inn from a nervous breakdown keeps having dreams where she sees two men trying to murder a third. When she meets a man who is a federal agent at the inn, ... See full summary »
Two innocent men are wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to death. The fiance of one of them convinces a police detective of their innocence, and together they try to find the real ... See full summary »
A security leak is found at a Southern California atomic plant. The authorities stand in fear that the information leaked would go to a hostile nation. To investigate the case more ... See full summary »
There are many concurrent plots in this film. The main one being the one in which a desperate guy kills his parents with an open razor and then goes to the movies. At the same time, other ... See full summary »
Antero de Oliveira
A wealthy man hires a detective to investigate his wife's past. The detective (Franchot Tone) discovers that the wife had been a dancer and left her home town with an actor. The latter is ... See full summary »
This often neglected programmer is filled with suspense and mayhem aboard a fast-moving train and well worth a watch, even though the acting is often overwrought, a holdover from the silent film days when histrionics were sometimes necessary to compensate for the lack of sound. Being an early sound production, the dialog too is often stilted. But the crisp photography, at times reminding the viewer of a Hitchcock picture, and apt direction more than make up for the movie's shortcomings. Sometimes as exciting as today's action hits, especially during the runaway train sequence at the end, "By Whose Hand?" proves a winner all the way.
Though Ben Lyon was a fine actor, he did much better as a second lead. He never had the charisma nor the looks to play top banana as he does in this film. The drunk played by Tom Dugan was probably a laugh riot to audiences in 1932 but by today's standards becomes a bit grating after a few minutes. Intended mainly for comic relief, the part should have been whittled down considerably. Otherwise, the casting is first rate with standout performances by the vivacious Barbara Weeks, the always delightful Dwight Frye, William V. Mong as a crotchety old man, and the versatile Nat Pendleton. The racial stereotyping that was rampant in Hollywood at the time is omnipresent, but if the viewer keeps an open mind this aspect is also tolerable.
The plot involves a hotshot reporter, Jimmy (Lyon), who takes a train ride to scoop a story on Chick Lewis (Frye), the man who plea-bargained with the police and is therefore the target of an escaped killer, Delmar(Pendleton), who stabs his victims. And there are two steak knives missing from the kitchen! Jimmy accidentally meets Alice (Weeks) and falls madly in love with her (who wouldn't!). All the while the locomotive speeds full throttle toward San Francisco.
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