- SKU: 14411479
- Release Date: 06/07/2005
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- Digitally mastered
- Interactive menus
- Chapter selections
- Digitally enhanced audio 5.1
The second of two projected John Wayne serials produced by genre expert Mascot Pictures, this film used the budget-saving device of having its master criminal wearing variously fiendish rubber masks, offering him the opportunity to resemble every red herring in the large cast. Known only as "The Wrecker" ("That's him, The Wrecker!" people continuously scream throughout the serial), the villain is attempting to sabotage the L. & R. Railroad in order to bolster a competing airline service. Wayne plays a commercial pilot whose father, the railroad's chief engineer (J. Farrell MacDonald), is murdered early on. Shirley Grey, as the daughter of a railroad man falsely accused of sabotage, is the damsel-in-distress (although, despite some poster art, she is never actually tied to the tracks), and Tully Marshall plays the president of the railroad. As Wayne had no drawing power whatsoever in 1932, Marshall, a veteran from the early silent era, was actually given star billing along with Conway Tearle, who portrayed the little seen company lawyer. The Hurricane Express survives in a truncated 70-minute feature version, a screening of which actually feels like watching an entire serial in one sitting. The serial was co-directed by J.P. McGowan, a veteran actor-director who had begun his long love affair with railroad themes directing his then-wife Helen Holmes in The Hazards of Helen (1915). ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi
Boys' Reformatory was the third of Frankie Darro's tough-guy vehicles for Monogram Pictures. Darro is cast as orphaned teenager Tommy, who to avoid breaking his foster-mother's heart takes the rap for a crime committed by his foster-brother Eddie (Frank Coghlan Jr.). Sent to a dismal reform school, Tommy finds a friend in the form of school doctor Owens (Grant Withers), a tireless crusader for improved reformatory conditions. With Owens' help, Tommy is able to take a "vacation" from the institution and round up the crooks responsible for leading Eddie astray. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
This Pine-Thomas actioner stars Robert Lowery as two-fisted forest ranger Don Bradley. Promoted to supervisor, Bradley finds his success hollow when his childhood sweetheart Kay (Ellen Drew) marries big-time gangster Steve Downey (Regis Toomey). In soon develops that Kay has wedded Downey against her will, and is being held prisoner in a remote mountain cabin. Bradley then dashes to the rescue, which culminates in a perilous car chase through dangerous mountain passages. Eddie Quillan provides comic relief as Bradley's pal Willie. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Johnny Mack Brown stars in Flames as a cocksure young firefighter named Charlie. After rescuing a cat from a burning building, Charlie and his pal Fishy (George Cooper) try to make time with the cat's pretty owners, Pat (Noel Francis) and Gertie (Marjorie Beebe). After a plenitude of comic byplay, our hero gets down to business again by battling a blaze in the firetrap apartment building next door to Pat's place. Since the film was directed by cinematographer Karl Brown, it should be no surprise that Flames is far more interesting visually than verbally. TV prints of Flames bear the reissue title The Fire Alarm. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Cast & Crew
- John Wayne - Larry Baker
- Shirley Grey - Gloria Martin/Gloria Stratton
- Tully Marshall - Mr. Edwards
- Conway Tearle - Steven
- John Farrell MacDonald - Jim Baker