36 Hours to Kill (1936)
** 1/2 (out of 4)
I had never heard of this film before seeing it but I noticed it had Brian Donlevy and Gloria Stuart so I decided to record it off FMC. A fugitive thief (Douglas Fowley) boards a train in L.A. so that he can get to Kansas City to collect $150,000 that he won in a jackpot. Hoping to evade the police who are looking for him, he gets to know a reporter (Donlevy) and a woman (Stuart) who is also running from the police. To say anything else would ruin a few surprises the film has to offer. This is a pretty good little thriller that has plenty of turns in the screenplay but all of this is ruined by some incredibly bad comic relief in the form of a retarded (or just plain stupid) black operator on the train. I'm not sure if this guy was suppose to be retarded or if its a black stereotype of a really dumb guy but this humor really kills the mystery of the film. The three leads are in very good form and director Eugene Forde, who also did some Chan films for Fox, keeps things moving nicely.
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