Dir: Albert de Courville
Starring: Edmund Lowe and Constance Cummings
An American detective and his sidekick are called to Britain to take on a gang of international criminals
This surprisingly crisp and humorous little thriller has central to its plot, gun-runners who cause train crashes to cover up murder. It is seen at least by some therefore, to be a remake of the 1929 thriller The Wrecker (qv), though this isn’t the case and the two films are quite distinct in their differences. There are similarities though between the two movies, with one of the major crash scenes using almost all the footage from that earlier film, with the spectacular staged crash using ex-SECR F1 Class 4-4-0 No.1148 that was filmed on the Basingstoke & Alton Light Railway, though it is clear that No.1060 was used for some scenes. There is an additional stock shot of the cab and motion of unrebuilt LMS ‘Royal Scot’ Class 6P 4-6-0 No.6111 Royal Fusilier, and a darkened shot of the concourse at London Waterloo station, but otherwise there is very little else in the way of British railway material in this film. All the remaining scenes feature studio sets and models, including the final crash scene that takes place in a tunnel. Although this shot was achieved using back projection on a studio set, the onrushing locomotive crashing into the coach, the whole sides of which then collapse around the screaming occupants, is tremendously effective.