26 user 6 critic

Danger Lights (1930)

Passed | | Adventure, Drama | 21 August 1930 (USA)
The tough boss of a railroad yard befriends a young hobo, and unwittingly places in jeopardy his relationship with the woman he loves.


George B. Seitz


James Ashmore Creelman (story and dialogue)




Complete credited cast:
Louis Wolheim ... Dan Thorn
Robert Armstrong ... Larry Doyle
Jean Arthur ... Mary Ryan
Hugh Herbert ... Professor - the Hobo
Frank Sheridan ... Ed Ryan
Robert Edeson ... Tom Johnson - Engineer
Alan Roscoe ... Jim - General Manager
William P. Burt William P. Burt ... Chief Dispatcher
Jim Farley ... Joe Geraghty (as James Farley)


Head railroad man Dan is as ugly as he is honorable. When he spots a drifter who'd hopped a freight held up by a landslide, Dan offers the man a job; then he finds the man was a railroader, too, and takes him under his wing. Engaged to Mary, Dan doesn't notice the growing attraction between his protégé and his intended, but focuses instead on running the railroad. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


R-K-O is proud to present the FIRST Railroad Picture in the history of the Talking Screen, and the BEST Railroad Picture ever produced either sound or silent! (Print Ad- Schenectady Gazette, ((Schenectady, NY)) 22 October 1930) See more »


Adventure | Drama


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This was not the only film with a climactic train entrance into Chicago. By a coincidence of geography, the large underpass traveled through before the train's right turn past the Seng Terminal Warehouse holds overhead tracks leading into Northwestern Station. It's on those tracks that about 45 years later, the Silver Streak (1976) would film its climactic approach shot into that station (described as Union Station in that film, but actually filming into Northwestern). See more »


The locomotive that arrives in Chicago is not the same one that started the journey. When Larry adds oil to the smoking "hotbox" en route, for example, the wheel has an outside journal box that he puts the oil into from a can. The locomotive that arrives in Chicago has an inside journal on this wheel (under the cab), a different type from the one it had earlier. See more »


Ed Ryan: Handsome is as handsome does.
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With You With Me
Music by Oscar Levant
Lyrics by Sidney Clare
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User Reviews

For a 77 year old movie, pretty good!
24 January 2007 | by mdantonioSee all my reviews

This movie was shown on TCM last night. Even though it was made twenty seven years before I was born, it held my interest. It was well filmed and the acting was adequate. With oldies like these, you have to watch them noting the time context that they were made in and appreciate them with that in mind. I especially like the parts when close up shots were made of the locomotives with the camera. Also, the scene where the two locomotives are doing a "push-of-war" (as opposed to a tug-of-war), was exciting. It gives you a good picture of what people considered to be fun seventy years ago, what a difference from some of today's entertainment that lacks class.

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Release Date:

21 August 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Danger Lights See more »

Filming Locations:

Lombard, Montana, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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