“Danger Lights” is a 1930 American drama film directed by George B. Seitz, starring Louis Wolheim and Robert Armstrong. The film is set in a railroad yard, where two veteran railroad workers, Dan and Jim, work and live in a shack. Dan, the older of the two, is respected by his colleagues for his experience and expertise. Jim, on the other hand, is younger and more impulsive, often causing problems and risking his life on the job.
One day, a young woman named Mary arrives in town to visit her father, who works at the railroad. Jim is immediately smitten with Mary and begins to court her, despite her father’s disapproval. Meanwhile, Dan is concerned about a dangerous section of the track known as “Dead Man’s Curve” and tries to convince the railroad management to address the issue before a disaster occurs.
As tensions rise between the two men, a train carrying explosives is diverted onto the deadly track, and Dan and Jim must work together to prevent a catastrophic collision. In the end, Dan sacrifices his own life to save Jim and the town from disaster.
The film was notable for its realistic portrayal of the dangers of working on the railroad and its groundbreaking use of sound effects, including the use of actual railroad sounds recorded on location. “Danger Lights” was also one of the first films to be shot in widescreen, using a process called Magnascope. Despite receiving critical acclaim, the film was not a commercial success and was largely forgotten until it was rediscovered by film historians in the 1970s. Today, it is considered a classic of early sound cinema and a landmark in American film history.
George B. Seitz
James Ashmore Creelman
Louis Wolheim, Jean Arthur, Robert Armstrong