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The Signal Tower

The Signal Tower(1924)

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  • A gem of the silent screen

    • Cora'sMum
    • 5/12/11

    Clarence Brown's THE SIGNAL TOWER was his second film for Universal studios. Filmed on location in Mendocino county, Brown took over a hardly used railroad track, building a signal tower (paned with amber glass to achieve the right lighting effects), and filming many of the scenes in the early morning to avail of the soft lighting. The story, based on a short story by Charles Wadsworth Camp, is fairly cliched- happy family threatened by a rogueish third party- but Brown's handling of the domestic scenes, as well as his filming of the exteriors, machinery and trains, is outstanding. The acting is strong, especially from Wallace Beery as the (rather appealing) villain, and from Frankie Darro and 'Jitney', playing the couple's little boy and his dog. The beautiful and imaginative lighting effects, the spectacular scenery, and the fast paced editing makes this film a real gem.

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