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The Return of Casey Jones

USA 1933
produced by
I.E. Chadwick for Monogram
directed by John P. McCarthy
starring Charles Starrett, Ruth Hall, George Hayes (= Gabby Hayes), Robert Elliott, Jackie Searl, George Walsh, Margaret Seddon, Gordon De Main, George Nash, Anne Howard, Edward Peil sr
screenplay by Harry L. Fraser, John P.McCarthy, based on the Railroad Stories novelette by John Johns

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The late  1890's: As a kid, Jim (Jackie Searl) admires Casey Jones (Robert Elliott), one of the few truly heroic (& record-breaking) railroad-engineers of his time. Then Casey Jones dies in a tragic train accident ...

1917: Little Jim has grown up to be a handsome young man (& is now played by Charles Starrett), & of course he is by now a railroad engineer himself, & is going steady with Nona (Ruth Hall). Then, the US enters World War I, & most of Jim's colleagues who are still healthy enough enlist - out of honour & patriotism. In fact, Jim wants to do the same - when his mother (Margaret Seddon) has a severe heart failure, & the doctor tells Jim that if she learned he had enlisted, she wouldn't survive the shock ...

For his mother's sake, Jim refuses to enlist, even though this is seen as grave cowardice by pretty much everybody & he is soon derided even by his colleagues.

This of course leads for Jim to work even harder in his job & make really heroic trainrides ... until one of his trains has a faulty brake & by trying to repair it from the outside (with the train speeding towards a curve), Jim is thrown off the train, & the train crashes in the curve due to too much speed. He awakes in hospital with only minor bruises, but everybody now suspects him to have abandoned the train out of cowardice, even his girl Nona.

& as if that wasn't enough, he is fired from his job because his boss thinks it to be too great a risk to keep such a cowardly man. It ois only thanks to Jim's best friend (& fellow engineer) Tim (George Hayes) that he can at least get a job as fireman - Tim's fireman - at the railroad company ... & as if you haven't guessed, soon an opportunity arises for Jim to prove his courage when another brake is damaged when Tim's train heads for another curve, & for a second time Jim has to climb to the outside to fix it with the train still speeding ... & wouldn't you know it, this time he succeeds, proving to everyone that he is indeed an ace railroad engineer, much in the mold of Casey Jones.


Rather pretentious & dull railroad melodram that pretty much lays the story open in its first 5 minutes (which tells the story of a boy wanting to become a hero like his idol railroad-engineer, but has to first prove his courage) but then takes incredibly long to set the story up - & in a pretty corny way, too.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD