DVD Review: The Silk Express (1933)

Silk Express

Nothing like a good murder mystery onboard a train.  That’s what you get with “The Silk Express” starring Neil Hamilton (Commissioner Gordon on the “Batman” series) as Donald Kilgore, a businessman determined to get a shipment of silk cross-country to break up a silk monopoly in New York.

Mind you, 1933’s “The Silk Express” is a bit on the goofy side, sometimes intentionally so.  There are no passengers aboard this train loaded with silk from Japan.  The gang boss (Arthur Hohl) has all kinds of ways to keep the train from arriving in New York, plans A, B, C, D, etc.  Will Kilgore be able to get his cargo to its destination or will his colleagues in the clothes manufacturing industry be forced to pay exorbitant prices?

This is the kind of film from Hollywood’s early talkie years that has all the crazy subplots you might expect.  A last-minute passenger is suffering a paralyzing disease that works its way up from the feet, eventually causing the victim to become a stone-faced zombie and then death.  It’s quite amusing.

The ending of the film is my major complaint.  It has a rushed feeling that makes you wonder if the producers just decided to end the film willy-nilly.  It’s a real head scratcher!  You’ll know what I mean if you decide to invest roughly 63 minutes of your time.

“The Silk Express” has been on Turner Classic Movies and is now available on DVD-on-Demand from Warner Archive Collection.

Fast Facts:

Street Date: January 15, 2013

Format: DVD only

Runtime: 61-63 minutes

Available from www.warnerarchive.com