THE LAST TRAIN FROM MADRID. Paramount Pictures, 1937. Dorothy Lamour, Lew Ayres, Gilbert Roland, Karen Morley, Lionel Atwill, Helen Mack, Robert Cummings, Olympe Bradna, Anthony Quinn, Lee Bowman. Director: James P. Hogan.

   Finally the train. Close to an hour into a movie with a running time just under ninety minutes, the audience finally gets to see the titular train. That’s pretty much my first and greatest impression of this rather slow moving and melodramatic movie about a disparate group of people attempting to obtain passes for the last train out of Madrid during the Spanish Civil War.

   There are a few subplots involving romance during wartime, and how a lifelong bond of friendship takes precedence over political affiliations. But overall, the film is a rather talky affair, all leading up to the final sequence in which some of the main characters finally do end up on a train for Valencia.

   What The Last Train from Madrid does have going for it is its exceptional cast. Gilbert Roland, in particular, is always a delight to see on screen. And, love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Lionel Atwill is a distinct presence in any movie that he appears in. (Although, Atwill as a Spanish Army officer? Not believable.)

   On the other hand, a young Anthony Quinn and an even younger looking Robert Cummings are quite convincing as Spanish soldiers.

   It’s just unfortunate that, with a cast like this, there isn’t enough action in this stagey production to keep the viewer particularly engaged throughout the proceedings.