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Paradise Express (1937) Online

Paradise Express (1937) Online
Original Title :
Paradise Express
Genre :
Movie / Action / Adventure / Crime / Drama / Romance
Year :
Directror :
Joseph Kane
Cast :
Grant Withers,Dorothy Appleby,Arthur Hoyt
Writer :
Jack Natteford,Betty Burbridge
Type :
Time :
Rating :
Paradise Express (1937) Online

A small railroad is being squeezed out of business by the tactics of a trucking company owned by gangsters.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Grant Withers Grant Withers - Lawrence 'Larry' Doyle
Dorothy Appleby Dorothy Appleby - Kay Carson
Arthur Hoyt Arthur Hoyt - Phineas K. Trotter
Maude Eburne Maude Eburne - Maggie Casey
Harry Davenport Harry Davenport - Jed Carson
Donald Kirke Donald Kirke - Armstrong
Arthur Loft Arthur Loft - Glover
Lew Kelly Lew Kelly - Tom Wilson
Anthony Pawley Anthony Pawley - Stymie
Fern Emmett Fern Emmett - Landlady
John Holland John Holland - Gus
Robert McClung Robert McClung - Harmonica Player (as Bob McClung)
Bruce Mitchell Bruce Mitchell - Train Conductor
Guy Wilkerson Guy Wilkerson - Skinny Smith
George Cleveland George Cleveland - Farmer Beasley

Missing from the edited-for-TV version, which seems to be the only one available, is the first scene in Maude Eburne's diner, involving Grant Withers and Arthur Hoyt as two of her customers.

User reviews

Ferri - My name

Ferri - My name

Good guys vs. Bad guys. In this case a small short line railroad is facing unfair competition from the evil trucking company headed by would-be mobsters. Our knight in shining armor, Grant Withers, rides in to rescue the failing railroad. In the '90's the parallel would be drawn between the Mom & Pop store being forced out by the giant chain store, who would cut prices until Mom & Pop threw in the towel, and would then raise prices to whatever the traffic would bear. The plot unfolds like a Grade "B" Western - the dialogue is a bit strained and simplistic in several places. However, if you enjoy morality plays with good eventually triumphing over evil - ala Hollywood of the 1930's, the film will keep your interest. Pay attention to Jed - the railroads owner. You should recognize him as the Doctor in "Gone With The Wind." If sometimes you find it just plain fun to cheer for the hero and hiss the villain, you'll enjoy Paradise Express.


Frankly, the title had me expecting this flick to be a romance-comedy set aboard a luxury diesel passenger liner. Just goes to show titles can be misleading. In reality the story is about corruption in the transportation industry - a popular theme in the 30's, be it railroads, trucks, taxis, you name it. Grant Withers plays the motivated receiver appointed to get the bankrupt Moon Valley RR back on a paying basis. Easier said than done, he's got to match wits against the crooked head of a trucking firm who wants the railroad's business. The real action doesn't come till the showdown - a race between the locomotive and the trucks to see who can get the tomatoes and lettuce to Paradise first. I won't give away Doyle's solution to a sabotaged water tower they find en route, but I can say it was pretty quick thinking. Dr. Meade from Gone With the Wind is here, and Dorothy Appleby plays his cute, perky granddaughter and Withers' romantic interest. Lassie fans may recognize Gramps from "Jeff's Collie". I watched the 52-min version off the Internet Archive. Maybe someone can find the full version.


One of the more interesting things about Paradise Express probably known in later years as the Hooterville Cannonball is the fact that Harry Davenport is playing against type. Usually cast as the kindly grandfather type in films, Davenport plays the kind of crotchety old guy usually done by George Barbier.

Davenport is the president of a local railroad which is in receivership and hemorrhaging business badly to a trucking company. That was happening all across the USA then, it's called progress. But in this case the receiver appointed, Grant Withers is looking to save the railroad, particularly a line to the town of Paradise where a lot of local farmers were sending their produce with the railroad until recently.

Donald Kirke is president of the trucking company, but these guys are racketeers, shades of Jimmy Hoffa. He arranged for Withers to be made receiver, but Withers crosses him up. Of course Davenport's pretty granddaughter Dorothy Appleby might have something to do with it.

On the whole it's not a bad product from Republic Pictures, the Hooterville Cannonball is of course saved. In fact Withers finds an interesting way to sabotage the saboteurs which you have to see the film for.

These crooks go to jail, unlike Homer P. Bedloe who never gave up his efforts to close down the Hooterville Cannonball.