The Phantom Express

The Phantom Express is a 1932 American pre-Code mystery crime-drama directed by Emory Johnson and based on the Emory Johnson story. The film stars William Collier, Jr. as Bruce Harrington, Sally Blane as Carolyn Nolan and Hobart Bosworth as Mr. Harrington. It was commercially released on August 15, 1932 by Majestic Pictures.


This story starts with engineer D.J. 'Smokey' Nolan, played by J. Farrell MacDonald speeding down the tracks at full throttle when he spies an oncoming train directly in his path. He quickly applies the emergency brakes, the train starts screeching to a halt but then derails. Several passengers are killed. An investigation cannot find any trace of the oncoming train that caused the derailment. Smoky is fired for negligence.