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Olivia de Havilland,
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is the sort of B thriller that made movie-going fun back in the thirties. Mary Carlisle is a hard-working telephone operator at a stock brokerage who suddenly discovers that she's the long-lost daughter of a railroad tycoon. With best pal Una Merkel in tow, she's tricked into boarding a private railway car en route to a reunion with her father. But neither the car nor her fellow passengers are what they appear to be.
Some of it is sorta' silly. There's a circus train wreck thrown in for padding. And Charlie Ruggles' as a "deflective" detective has a few too many goofy bromides. But the climactic chase sequence, as a runaway car roars down miles of twisting mountain track, is superbly directed, shot and edited. And that was back in the days before CGI when you had to film the real thing.
While "Murder in the Private Car" isn't in the same league as "The Narrow Margin" (the gold standard among railroad mysteries,) it's well worth a look. Especially for train buffs. And in just a bit over an hour, it moves along like...well...like a speeding train.
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