MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 12,520 this week

The Phantom Express (1932)

5.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.4/10 from 90 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 3 critic

A railway is threatened by mysterious wrecks, which turn out to be caused by criminals using a unique deception.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 8243 titles
created 10 Aug 2011
 
a list of 1087 titles
created 02 Feb 2012
 
a list of 100 titles
created 30 Jun 2013
 
a list of 21 titles
created 8 months ago
 
a list of 8 titles
created 2 weeks ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Phantom Express (1932)

The Phantom Express (1932) on IMDb 5.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Phantom Express.

Videos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Borderline (1950)
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Two undercover agents infiltrate a drug-smuggling ring in Mexico, but neither is aware of the other's identity.

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Claire Trevor, Raymond Burr
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Mad scientist works on a death ray in his mountain hideaway.

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: Josephine Dunn, Jack Mulhall, Eddie Boland
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A waitress, a hobo and a bank robber get mixed up at a lonely diner in the desert.

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Leslie Howard, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis
Certificate: Passed Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Guests at a luxury hotel are horrified when they witness a man literally "disappear into thin air." The vanished man's relatives hire a detective, who goes to the hotel to investigate the disappearance.

Director: Spencer Gordon Bennet
Stars: William 'Stage' Boyd, Claudia Dell, Huntley Gordon
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

A mysterious killer known as The Fiend uses an unusual bullet as his trademark for his murders.

Director: Robert F. Hill
Stars: June Collyer, Lloyd Hughes, Lawrence Gray
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Police lieutenant Sam Carson investigates a political murder after the victim is dumped at the door of police headquarters.

Director: Otto Brower
Stars: Carole Landis, William Gargan, Richard Crane
The Phantom (1931)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

A group of people are stalked by a masked killer in an old mansion.

Director: Alan James
Stars: Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams, Allene Ray, Niles Welch
Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A former actor poses as the son of a wealthy man and gets involved in a murder in which the real son is a suspect.

Director: Arthur Lubin
Stars: Louis Hayward, Eric Linden, J.C. Nugent
Devil Monster (1946)
Adventure | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.5/10 X  

This is an edited version of a ten-year-old film, _Sea Fiend, The (1936)_.

Director: S. Edwin Graham
Stars: Barry Norton, Blanche Mehaffey, Jack Barty
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A disfigured watchmaker with a grudge against society embarks on a life of crime.

Director: Robert Florey
Stars: Peter Lorre, Evelyn Keyes, Don Beddoe
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Shady stockbroker and abusive husband Gerald Parker is found dead in the penguin pool of a NYC aquarium after being knocked cold by his wife's boyfriend.

Director: George Archainbaud
Stars: Edna May Oliver, Robert Armstrong, James Gleason
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A man is framed and sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit. When he is let out on limited parole, he sets out to clear his name and find the real criminals.

Director: Lambert Hillyer
Stars: Robert Kent, Anne Nagel, Sidney Blackmer
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Collier Jr. ...
Bruce Harrington
...
Carolyn Nolan
J. Farrell MacDonald ...
D.J. 'Smokey' Nolan
Hobart Bosworth ...
Mr. Harrington
Axel Axelson ...
Axel, the Fireman
...
Betty
Eddie Phillips ...
Dick Walsh
Robert Ellis ...
Reynolds
...
Ma Nolan
David Rollins ...
Jackie Nolan
Tom O'Brien ...
Red Connelly the Telegraph Operator
Huntley Gordon ...
President of Rival Railroad
Brady Kline ...
Slim - a Thug
Jack Pennick ...
Bubba - a Thug
Jack Mower ...
Head Thug
Edit

Storyline

An engineer at the throttle of a locomotive speeding through a tunnel sees the lights of a train approaching from the other end. Although the signals say the track is clear, he still sees the train's lights. He grinds the train to a halt, derailing it. He survives, but many passengers are killed. He is fired in disgrace, but sets out to prove his innocence by finding the "phantom express." Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

train | railway | See All (2) »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 August 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Il lampo  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Charming and effective early talkie
20 October 2009 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) – See all my reviews

The Phantom Express is an early talkie that impresses in a few ways. It's about a series of train accidents caused by an unexplainable phantom express whose headlights appear every few nights on the tracks. This mysterious train bears down on other locomotives causing them to brake suddenly and derail. The driver of the latest train to encounter the phenomena is fired in disgrace as the investigators do not believe his story. It's left to him and the son of the railroad president to clear his name and find out what is behind the notorious phantom express.

The Phantom Express is a fine example of one of the many mystery films released in the 1930's. Admittedly the actual mystery itself is a little easy to work out and the plot is structured such that it's obvious that the rival railroad company are behind things in some way. Nevertheless, there is still much to admire in this cool little film. As poverty row movies go, this has to be one of the better put-together. Where other cheap genre films of the 30's often restricted themselves to two or three studio-created locations, The Phantom Express includes many scenes set on the grounds of the rail-yard construction site. This authenticity is welcome and adds nice detail to proceedings. Conversely, I really enjoyed the model-work used for the train scenes. It was very well done and looked very cool, giving the film a lot of character and soul. This model-work was well integrated with the live action, especially in the final ride through the storm and was effective in generating suspense. A similarly well-handled thrilling scene was where the signalmen are tied up by thugs and made to helplessly watch the oncoming phantom express bear down the tracks on another train. Great stuff. Ultimately, the mystery of the phantom express is resolved with an explanation that I thought was kind of funny. I won't give anything away so will leave this little amusement for first time viewers to discover for themselves.

The cast acquit themselves well but a special mention should be made for J. Farrell MacDonald who is excellent as the fired train driver. The scene where he breaks down at his birthday party after being sacked is very good; MacDonald certainly put a lot of emotion into that moment. I also have to mention Axel Axelson, who plays MacDonald's trusty sidekick. Not only does he have a name that sounds like it should belong to an 80's hair metal guitarist, but he also has one of the craziest accents you are ever liable to hear. It seems to be a mix of Swedish, Dutch, Irish and possibly Martian. It's difficult to say with any certainty but it's funny as hell.

The Phantom Express comes recommended to anyone interested in early talkies and/or 30's mysteries. It's a very worthy little obscurity that has a great deal of charm about it.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Phantom Express (1932) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?