The Lost Special (1932)

Genres - Adventure, Mystery  |   Run Time - 100 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Ostensibly based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this action serial was actually closer in spirit to the blood-and-thunder days of silent "railroad queen" Helen Holmes. The story, in fact -- a train vanishing into thin air -- bore a strong resemblance to Holmes' 1917 effort The Lost Express. Jack Albertson, Cecilia Parker, Caryl Lincoln, and all-American footballer Ernie Nevers starred as a group of college kids attempting to solve the mystery -- in a manner, needless to say, more akin to The Hazards of Helen than Sherlock Holmes. Ernie Nevers failed to impress as an actor and quickly returned to the gridiron but another football star, Reb Russell, here playing a henchman of all things, later enjoyed a brief stardom as a low-budget Western hero.