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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>
One thing you can say for sure, it certainly is not a rip-off of "The Thin Man" or any other big budget murder mystery of its time.
The scene opens on two switchboard operators busy at work at an investment firm - Ruth Raymond and Georgia Latham (Mary Carlisle and Una Merkel). One day an investigator informs Ruth that she is the long lost daughter of a wealthy man. She is to be whisked away via a private car to New York to meet her father. She asks her friend and coworker, Georgia, to come along too, and thus the adventure begins.
Onboard the train the bodies start piling up, there is a mysterious invisible voice telling Ruth she has only hours to live, and there are doubts raised as to whether or not she is the long lost daughter of the wealthy man in the first place. Along for the ride is the long-time boyfriend of Ruth, as well as a goofy fellow, Godfrey Scott (Charles Ruggles), who has taken a shine to Georgia before all of this mystery began and appointed himself investigator of the case. There are escaped primates in assorted sizes and also a plot device that reminds me of the "Wild Wild West" TV show.
Ruggles' act can get tiresome depending on how big a dose is injected into a particular movie, but there is so much going on here that I really didn't think him more of a hindrance than a help, plus the building relationship between himself and Merkel's character is adorable. I'd recommend it if you're in the mood for a rather offbeat film that is certainly very atypical output for MGM of the period.
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