THE GHOST TRAIN (1931)
Article 3955 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Walter Forde
Featuring Jack Hulbert, Cicely Courtneidge, Ann Todd
What it is: Another ghost train movie
Several people get stranded in a remote train station during a storm. The station seems to be haunted by a ghost train as well.
I’m stretching things a bit to include this one; this early talkie only partially exists, and most of the reels that still exist lack the soundtrack. Fortunately, since I’ve seen two other versions of this particular story, I wasn’t exactly baffled by what I saw, but I do suspect that anyone who wasn’t familiar with the story would have trouble sorting it out. Still, with what little sound I did have to go on, I’ve come to the conclusion that one definite flaw of the story itself is it makes a rather annoying comic character the center of the action; even if the actor playing him is decent, his actions make him more irritating than funny. Fortunately, the final reel is one of the surviving reels, and it’s also one of the only two that has sound, so the climax of the story (which is pretty good) is intact. Nonetheless, I don’t think it holds a candle to the 1927 version of the movie, which for me is the most impressive of the lot.