Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Mystery Train|
Actors: Marceline Day, Eddie Fetherstone, Joseph W. Girard, Hedda Hopper, Jack Richardson
Director: Phil Whitman
Genres: Action & Adventure
Studio: Gotham (dba Alpha) Release Date: 10/20/2009
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Member Movie Reviews
Matt B. from GETZVILLE, NY
Reviewed on 8/29/2011...
Hedda Hopper (1885 - 1966) is remembered nowadays - dimly, probably - as a gossip columnist who wore flamboyant hats. But from 1915 to the mid-1930s, she appeared in about 120 movies. She usually played a society matron, as she does in this 1931 romantic crime story. Her character Mrs. Radcliffe has lost all her money playing the stock market. During a train wreck in which a young female on her way to prison escapes her guard, Mrs. Radcliffe and her shyster cook up a plan to marry the girl to the heir of a vast fortune and then steal the fortune.
Since the plot twists are the main attraction, I donít want to give them away in a review.
Suffice to say, the turns are interesting and the direction by is impressive, avoiding the staginess of early talkies. A scene of an outdoor party impressed me Ė the sound is good and the wind blowing the bushes and leaves around lent a nice here and now feeling. The well-written script is executed smoothly by the actors, though in the last third there are spots where all the actors donít seem to have rehearsed enough. A lot of the action occurs on trains, which will interest guys and old train buffs.
Hedda Hopper in fast-moving tale of blackmail and intrigue
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 01/15/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Good old Hedda Hopper, the ultimate Hollywood gossip queen. She started out as an actress in the early days of the silent cinema (her first appearance was in 1916!), but by the close of the 1930s, clearly knew that her talents--and the roles she was inclined to play--were limited.
In 1931's THE MYSTERY TRAIN, Hopper plays Mrs Marion Radcliffe, a society dame whose fortune has been lost in the Wall Street collapse. When the train she's traveling on becomes derailed, Marion "adopts" fellow passenger Joan Lane (Marceline Day), a female convict who was being transported to prison. Passing Joan off as her long-lost niece, she plans to emotionally blackmail the girl into marrying millionaire bachelor Ronald Stanthorpe (Nick Stuart). Of course, Marion doesn't count on the pair truly falling in love without her meddling; or the revelation that Joan was in fact framed for her crime...
With a tense "runaway train" finale, stolen jewels, blackmail and various intrigues woven into the script (based on a story by Hampton Del Ruth and Phil Whitman), THE MYSTERY TRAIN is an entertaining way to spend an hour. Hedda Hopper does a nice job playing the blackmailing Radcliffe; Marceline Day is lovely as well. Al Cook and Carol Tevis play a comical honeymoon odd-couple and get a few laughs along the way.
Alpha's DVD print is basic (for a neglected 1931 movie no-one should be expecting miracles anyway); both picture and sound are serviceable enough. An enjoyable title for 1930s movie enthusiasts."
H. Schlef | La Crescenta, ca. United States | 12/29/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It was an interesting old black and white movie and a time period of which I enjoyed watching such movies."