One can count on one hand, nay, one finger, the number of Hollywood movies that deal with the importation of silk from Asia. This may be the only one and it goes way back to the beginning of talkies. Using this subject as the basis for a fairly good mystery that involves murder aboard a fast-moving train is rare indeed. The cast consists mainly of well known character actors under contract to Warner Brothers. Guy Kibbee plays Railway Detective McDuff who wants to slow the train down. Since the silk traders must get their shipment to New York within a certain time frame, the railway detective must be dealt with by the entrepreneurs. Competitors are also at work trying to sabotage the entire operation to make sure the train does not reach New York on schedule. They will stop at nothing including murder to stop the train so they can corner the market on silk. Kibbee did well when his role was limited to a few lines. When given a large role as in this movie, his loud banter becomes irritating at times rather than amusing. It is good to see the antics of Allen Jenkins toned down. He is actually a fairly decent actor when given the right role as in this film. He too tended to overact outrageously when given the opportunity. The rest of the cast including the two leads are adequate for their parts. The result is an entertaining little whodunit. And you may be surprised at the end unless you pay really close attention to detail.
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