Universal’s newest super-Jewel, THE SIGNALTOWER, is a production eminently worthy of this brand name. It is a simple, straightforward story of railroad life, beautifully photographed, finely directed, rich in human interest and realistic touches, filled with compelling drama, and with a stirring and spectacular climax in which a freight train is derailed and tumbles down a steep incline.
Adding greatly to the effectiveness of this picture is the concentration of the story in the hands of only four main characters, and of the locations, as all the action takes place at a lonely signal rower in the mountains and in a solitary house near by.
Although following the form of a melodrama with a villain who seeks to break up the sanctity of a home, and with events culminating in the spectacular train wreck, there are no situations which stretch the spectator’s credulity, and intense, compelling and vital drama is the outstanding note.
Director Clarence L. Brown has skillfully developed the story, injecting a lot of good human interest; he has expertly developed his characters who act consistently and like real human beings at all times, and has looked out for the little details that mean so much in effectively putting over the desired impression. (…)
The railroad atmosphere which dominates the story is convincingly handled and there is always the tang of adventure and the fascination that goes with stories of these arteries of iron and steeds and steel.
Charles S. Sewell, Moving Picture World, 24.5.1924