Episode 26, "The Wild Engine," is one of the films in the 3-disk boxed DVD set called "More Treasures from American Film Archives (2004)", compiled by the National Film Preservation Foundation from 5 American film archives. That film is preserved by the Library of Congress (from the Republic collection), has a running time of 14 minutes and an added piano score. See more »
This review is for Episode 26, "The Wild Engine." This was my first look at "Helen," who was played - ironically - by two actresses named Helen although the second one changed her first name to suit the long-running weekly series. She was "Helen" Gibosn, who married the then-famous "Hoot" Gibson. These quarter-hour movies were serials, like "The Perils Of Pauline," and there were 119 of them. This one that I saw was part of the "More Treasures From the American Film Archives, which was released in 2004, and starred Helen Holmes.
Here, Helen goes out to prove that not all women lose their heads in emergencies, as a man states early on in this film. (At the end, she demands an apology.)
Soon, we see a runaway train with a lot of passengers aboard and Helen reads a telegram that has just been sent notify railroad officials of the potential disaster, that someone needs to sidetrack the train before it reaches a bridge.
The serial shows how all are saved. I found it a bit complicated since there are very few title cards and explanation of what is going on. You'd have to be an old-time railroad expert to figure this out! Two trains are involved, which were fun to watch, but this was a confusing story.
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