Streamlined trains were all the rage in the mid-1930’s as railroads tried to shake their stodgy image of heavyweight Pullman train travel. Streamline Express has a plot very similar to my previously-reviewed movie, “Twentieth Century” (high-strung diva quits the New York stage / stage manager pursues to bring her back).
Starring Victor Jory as Jimmy Hart and Evelyn Venable as Patricia Wallace, the movie relies mainly on oversize sets depicting spacious accommodations on-board. I really dig the chrome and glass Art Deco set dressing on-board the train. Mascot put quite a little effort into this film — no creaking floorboards, for example.
Movie buffs will remember Victor Jory as the cashiered overseer of Tara plantation in Gone With The Wind.
Let’s check out the Streamline Express as it wobbles down the track!
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Both the New York Daily Record and the Chronicle agree this is front page news. New York to California in 20 hours! Top speed of 160 mph!
Manager Jimmy races down to the station to stop Patricia. The problem is he can’t buy a ticket (sold out) and all of his increasingly desperate schemes to get trackside are thwarted.
Our first view of the Streamline Express. I think it’s just a matte painting, but it certainly is massive (look at the nearby people for a sense of scale. It’s a wonder they could squeeze that thing into the station.
Meanwhile, Patricia is trackside (with a radio hookup) to christen Streamline Express with the traditional bottle of bubbly.
Jimmy has resorted to hiding on the baggage cart to get near the train.
A few views of the futuristic onboard train set. Lots of angled windows and curved archways.
Utilizing a projection view of emerging into daylight at some large urban terminal; Here’s a different view of the “monorail track”. I like that toy signal bridge!
A couple more views — the big fish rolls under a signal bridge and a closeup of the model “speeding” along.
An RCA telegram! Jimmy reads with great amusement Patricia brushing him off, by wireless; Jimmy hands Patricia his telegraphed reply. How modern!
Lots and LOTS of plot left off here.
Dashing through the night; Aren’t those triangular windows, cool?
As you might expect, Victor Jory gets the girl and we close our story at the Los Angeles bumper post.
Not a bad little effort from a movie studio I had never heard of before. It’s a B picture, but I appreciate the “modern design” interior set touches and you can’t beat that spaceship-on-rails look of the Streamline Express.
If you’d like to watch it, you can find Streamline Express on YouTube:
Here’s what IMDb has to say about Streamline Express:
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