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B. Reeves Eason
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The Wrecker wrecks trains on the L & R Railroad. One of his victims is Larry Baker's father. Baker wants to find the evildoer, among a host of suspects, but it will be difficult since the Wrecker can disguise himself to look like almost anyone. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Aside from having a young John Wayne in the lead, it's not particularly outstanding.
"The Hurricane Express" is a very low budget movie serial from tiny Mascot Studios. And, because of this, there isn't a whole lot to distinguish it other than one big thing--it stars a very young John Wayne. If it weren't for this, I doubt if many people would ever want to see the film. It just isn't very good.
The film begins by introducing Larry (John Wayne) and his father. Larry is a pilot and his dad has been an engineer for the railroad for many years. However, soon the father is killed--the result of someone sabotaging the rails. Who would do this and why would they do it? Larry was determined to figure this out for himself--and thus goes the rest of this 12-part serial. At the end of each part, there is, of course, some cliffhanger that makes it APPEAR that he is killed--but naturally, Larry has found some ridiculous way to somehow survive. It turns out that the sabotage is NOT the work of some nut, but a guy called 'The Wrecker'--but who the wrecker is you need to wait until part 12 to learn. In the meantime, he and his gang try again and again to sabotage the rails.
When you watch the film you'll probably notice a few things. First, the film is very quiet. The usual incidental music is gone--partly because early sound films sometimes missed this and partly because the production was so cheap that they couldn't afford it. Also, the condition of the print is not particularly great--but much of this is because of the degradation of the film and has nothing to do with the original quality of the serial. As for the writing, it's pretty poor--with lots of action but not a whole lot in depth or believability. It's quite a step below the quality of a serial from a decade later. Not terrible...just not all that good.
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