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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Lady On A Train (1945)

A young debutante (Deanna Durbin) traveling by train from San Francisco to New York sees a man being murdered through her window. When no one believes her story, she sets out on her own to solve the murder. A rather uncomfortable combination of comedy, film noir and a musical and the three never quite gel. Durbin, playing a more glamorous Nancy Drew type, is tarted up to look like Veronica Lake but she still acts the eternal ingenue. I've tried and I have to confess I just don't get the Deanna Durbin love. She's not annoying here as she is in her shriek and trill musicals, in fact, her songs are performed in a lower register here and while she does a lovely version of Silent Night, she performs Cole Porter's Night And Day badly. The mystery aspect is weak because there are only two possible murder suspects and it's just a matter of time till the obvious is revealed. Miklos Rozsa whips up a musical frenzy and it gives the film a bit of edge. Directed by Charles David. With Ralph Bellamy, Dan Duryea, Edward Everett Horton, Patricia Morison, Jacqueline DeWit (who the film could have used more of), George Coulouris, Elizabeth Patterson, Allen Jenkins and David Bruce.

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