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Prison Train (1938)

Passed | | Crime, Drama | 17 October 1938 (USA)
Frankie Terris and Mannie Robbins are the two most powerful gangsters in their city. Frankie has a young sister, Louise, whom he has kept at a boarding school away from the stench of his ... See full summary »


Gordon Wiles


Leonardo Bercovici (story), Shepard Traube (screenplay)

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Cast overview:
Fred Keating ... Frankie Terris
Dorothy Comingore ... Louise Terris (as Linda Winters)
Clarence Muse ... Train Steward / Sam
Faith Bacon Faith Bacon ... Maxine
Alexander Leftwich Alexander Leftwich ... Manny Robbins
James Blakeley ... Joe Robbins (as James Blakely)
Sam Bernard ... George
John Pearson John Pearson ... Red
Nestor Paiva ... Morose
Val Stanton Val Stanton ... Sullen
Peter Potter Peter Potter ... Bill Adams
Kit Guard ... Guard
Franklyn Farnum ... The Lawyer
George Lloyd ... Bull


Frankie Terris and Mannie Robbins are the two most powerful gangsters in their city. Frankie has a young sister, Louise, whom he has kept at a boarding school away from the stench of his racketeering. Mannie's young son, Joe, is also ignorant of his father's profession. Louise and Joe meet, and Joe tries to make love to her. Frankie interrupts and, in a fight that follows, kills Joe. Mannie vows to get Frankie. The latter, sentenced to Alcatraz, fears for Louise's safety and makes her promise to take a trip abroad. Louise learns that Mannie plans to shoot Frankie on the train taking him to prison, and she stows away in hopes of warning her brother. On the train, she falls into the protective arms of Federal Agent Bill Adams. Before she has a chance to warn Frankie, Mannie's henchmen go to work and a gangland shootout ensues. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"Alcatraz is too good for him - I'll blast him to hell where he belongs" (original poster)


Crime | Drama


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

17 October 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

People's Enemy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This was the only film appearance of famous fan dancer and Burlesque performer Faith Bacon who plays Maxine. She took her own life in 1956 at the age of forty-six. See more »


Referenced in Citizen Kane (1941) See more »


Husker du vor skoletid
Music by Walter Kollo
Lyrics by Axel Kjerulf and Aage Juhl Thomsen
See more »

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User Reviews

Will They Ever Get There?
2 November 2007 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

For a short film, I thought this was endless. First of all, the whole premise. The business of all these felons lounging around in a train car, heading for Alcatraz. The principle figure sitting around moping, going from his smug self to being frightened to death. The whole security issue is beyond comprehension. Then there's that old guy whose son was killed, riding in a car, trying to keep up with the train. There is taunting and wordplay going on. Then there is this boring guy who won't shut up, talking through his hat. I suppose he is comic relief, but he's not a bit funny, even in this time period. The young woman who is enamored with the murderer is hanging around but what point is there to her being on the scene? There are those dark close ups and camera shots, which, I suppose, were sort of experimental for the time. When it gets down to it, there's no real story.

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