Ruth Raymond works on the switchboard and her boyfriend is John Blake. It has taken 14 years, but a detective named Murray has found her and confirmed that she is Ruth Carson. As a child, ... See full summary »
Ruth Raymond works on the switchboard and her boyfriend is John Blake. It has taken 14 years, but a detective named Murray has found her and confirmed that she is Ruth Carson. As a child, she was kidnaped by her uncle and is the daughter of a wealthy railroad tycoon. Under the watchful eye of Godfrey D. Scott, an attempt on her life is foiled. But a fake telegram put her on a private railroad car heading east. It is in this car that her life is again in danger and people are murdered. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
This is a fast-paced and highly enjoyable comedy-thriller from the MGM B-movie mill. The plot concerns a pretty switchboard operator who discovers that she is the long-lost daughter of a wealthy industrialist. On a cross-country train trip to visit him, a mysterious villain threatens her and her entourage with murder through messages and the occasional disembodied voice.
The first two-thirds of the movie are played mainly for laughs, with sharp, witty dialog and goofy situations. This leads to a frantic no-holds-barred climax as a runaway railway car hurtles down a mountain line, narrowly missing speeding trains coming its way.
Charlie Ruggles creates another wonderfully eccentric character, a "deflector" -- something like a detective, but instead of solving crimes he uses his savvy to prevent them from occurring. He mangles many an old aphorism, and has some terrific exchanges with the equally incisive Una Merkel. He even gets to interact with some circus animals in amusing fashion. Pre-code buffs will enjoy some of the subtly racy asides (listen for Ruggles' full name, for instance), but modern viewers may be dismayed by the racially insensitive material to which "Snowflake" is subjected as the frightened porter (he has a larger role than usual, and certainly plays the demeaning stereotype with aplomb).
Definitely worth an hour of any buff's time, and a "keeper" for railway aficionados.
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