Zachary Hicks is nominated at the Progressive party's convention even though he has little chance of winning the governorship. Kay suggests the party bosses hire Hal Blake (whom she loves) ... See full summary »
Mike is a great tuna fisherman though he lost a hand to a shark years earlier saving Pipes Boley. Now Mike is happily married to Quita and doesn't notice that Pipes and Quita are falling ... See full summary »
Edward G. Robinson,
Kindly soup kitchen operator and professor of criminology Bela Lugosi uses his soup kitchen as a front for a criminal gang who commit a series of daring robberies and murders. When things ... See full summary »
Roscoe the Rainmaker is invited to California (with sidekick "Billy") to relieve a terrible dry spell and to save the community from an unscrupulous businessman who stands to profit from ... See full summary »
The City of Chicago is gripped by an Axe Murderer. The streets are empty at night as there has been six murders and six people have been caught, but they are lunatics. Only one person has ... See full summary »
A medical student--broke, hungry and desperate for money--is hired to murder a loan shark. After the killing he is tormented by guilt over what he's done. A detective, who knows the student... See full summary »
The train in the film was the Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy RR's "Pioneer Zephyr" passenger train. After the train was retired from service in 1960 it was donated to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago where it is still on display. See more »
Interior shots of Tom at the throttle show the controls near the center of the cab but the exterior views show the real engineer at the window sometimes with his arm resting on the window sill. Tom couldn't even reach the window from his position. See more »
At a board of directors meeting, handsome railroad engineer Charles Starrett (as Tom Caldwell) presents his plan for a modern, high-speed train called "The Silver Streak". The conservative board of directors considers Mr. Starrett's progressive plan preposterous. They reject his design. Starrett resigns and goes to work for another locomotive company, which is secretly arranged by his beautiful girlfriend Sally Blane (as Ruth Dexter). She is also the daughter of William Farnum (as Barney "BJ" Dexter), chairman at the railroad firm Starrett left. The diesel-powered train is built, but runs into some trouble. "You can't beat steam," is what the old guard says, but the industry is faltering and needs to attract a new generation of travelers...
While dull, this production has a few good reasons to watch...
William Farnum was one of the first movie "super-stars" and gets a featured, late career role. He even gets to kiss Ms. Blane (Loretta Young's lovely sister). Adventurous engineer Hardie Albright (as Allan Dexter) does well with the most dramatic supporting role. Arthur Lake and Guinn "Big Boy" Williams (as Crawford and Higgins) are an effective comic relief team (one wishes the material were better). There are many recognizable players in small roles - from veteran character actress Mary Carr as the weepy train passenger to attractive newcomer Dave O'Brien as a telephone clerk. The actual train is shown to great effect
but the climax is rendered unexciting by showy reaction shots, a
superfluous Russian spy and a general poor pace.
***** The Silver Streak (12/10/34) Tommy Atkins ~ Charles Starrett, Sally Blane, William Farnum, Hardie Albright
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