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The Escape on the Fast Freight (1915)

Two yeggmen hold up Helen, on night duty at Ferndale, lock her in a closet, and escape. Later, standing on a bridge over the freight yards, Helen sees the two bandits aboard an outgoing ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Paul C. Hurst)

Writer:

(as E.W. Matlack)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Helen Holmes ...
Helen
Leo D. Maloney ...
Bill - a Tramp
J. Gunnis Davis ...
Pete - Bill's Pal (as James Davis)
George A. Williams ...
Constable Bettger (as G.A. Williams)
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Storyline

Two yeggmen hold up Helen, on night duty at Ferndale, lock her in a closet, and escape. Later, standing on a bridge over the freight yards, Helen sees the two bandits aboard an outgoing freight, and drops onto the roof of the car from above as it crosses underneath. A chase along the roofs of the speeding cars ensues, all of the participants falling into the water as the freight crosses a river. The train is brought to a halt, Helen is rescued, the thieves are arrested, and Helen looks forward to next week's hazard. Written by Anonymous

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Plot Keywords:

railroad | See All (1) »

Genres:

Short | Thriller

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Release Date:

6 February 1915 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Hazards of Helen (#13): The Escape on the Fast Freight  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Helen to the rescue!
27 June 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is episode 13 of a series of films from "The Hazards of Helen"--a series that totaled 119 episodes! I have never seen any of the other segments, as this is the only one included in a DVD set entitled "Treasures III"--a set of four DVDs all about social issues and reform. The second disk (where you'll find this one) is about women's issues in particular.

The film begins with Helen working at a railroad as a telegraph operator--an unusual job for a woman of the day. The audio commentary indicated that sometimes railroads hired women because they were able to get away with paying them less and they were perceived as being less likely to agitate for high pay or join a union.

Two crooks come along and are obviously up to no good. They pull a gun on poor Helen and lock her in the closet! They aim to rob the telegraph office. She yells out and the men shoot into the closet to quiet her--thankfully, sweet Helen is okay. When the sheriff arrives, Helen has managed to get out of the closet and the robbers escaped. In a nasty twist, Helen is then informed that she's being replaced as the railroad doesn't want women to be in such a dangerous job! Gee, thanks.

The rest of the film is deigned to show the employers and audience know that Helen is just as able as any man and she, of course, is going to save the day. Soon, she sees the same robbers and sets off in pursuit of them as they board a train.

Overall, this is a very surprising film. Considering how it was "a man's world" in 1915, I was amazed to see a female action hero--one who did stunts and didn't need to be protected by a man. Although not as overtly radical as many films of the day, this is a very important film because of its treatment of women--demonstrating that women were just as goods as men.


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