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A convict being escorted in for retrial escapes at Grand Central and threatens his old girlfriend on the phone. She flees for her new beau's private railcar at the same station. When she is then found murdered the cops round up a motley group of suspects including the escapee, several guys feeling sore at the way the gold-digging broad had treated them, some jealous dames, and a private eye already on the case. Inspector Gunther soon has a problem - enough evidence to fry all of them. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
**SPOILERS** Sharp and witty whodunit set in New York's Grand Central Station. The conniving and cold-hearted Broadway star Mida King,Patrica Dane, being found dead in her fiancée David V. Henderson's, Mark Daniels,private railroad car has the policeman on the case Inspector Gunther, Sam Levene, wanting to find and arrest who murdered her. With all the people in the movie who had it in for Mida it seemed to him that almost everyone who knew her was a prime suspect in her murder.
This all started when Mida's old boyfriend Turk, Stephen McNally, escaped from the two cops taking him back to NYC, on the New York North Railway. Turk was to be retried for a crime he was convicted of. Turk on the loose later calls Mida, between scenes in her play at the Harmony Theater, telling her that she's hasn't long to live. This causes Mida to cut short her performance and run and hide in David's private rail car parked in Grand Central Station the "Thanaopsis".
Private Eye Rocky Custer, Van Heflin,and his secretary wife Sue, Virgina Gray, has been on Turk's case and now that he's blown all the leg-work he did for him, that can get him a new trial and find Turk innocent, Rocky takes a personal interest in Turk's run in with the law and now Mida's murder. Captured in a police dragnet Turk is now the main suspect in Mida King's murder since he was the one who called and threatened her just before her body was found in David's railroad car.
Just when you, and Inspector Gunther, feel that all the evidence point's to an indictment and conviction of Turk as Mida's killer in pop's PI Rocky Custer and starts to spin a web of intrigue and deception, on the part of Mida's real killer. Rockys evidence point's to her past as a gold digger and social climber which draws in everyone she ever had any relationships with in achieving her aims, sexual and financial.
Milda had used persons as far flung as her nutty old step-father known professionally as "The Magnificent Ramon", Roman Bohnen, to her ex-husband Paul Rinehart, George Lynn, who she took for a ride and then dropped him when he ended up broke. Among those suspected in Milda's murder there's even the heart-broken blue-blooded and beautiful Constance Furness ,Cecilia Parker, and her equally upset father industrialist Mr. Roger Furness ,Samual S. Hinds, who's childhood friend and long time lover David V. Henderson Milda stole from her. Not to mention the producer of the play that Mida was in, that had her drop the broke and out of work Turk to get involved with him, Broadway and Hollywood entrepreneur Frankie Ciro, Tom Conway.
We later learn that both Rocky and Sue was on the scene just after Mida was found dead and figured out just who was responsible for her death. It came as no surprise that it was one of the many persons that she crossed during her climb to the top of the Broadway scene. That set up the film's "Grand Central Murder" thrilling and fast paced ending.
A bit too complicated for a 73 minute B-movie "Grand Central Murder" has so many plots and sub-plots, that we see in a series of flashback, involving who was with Mida King in the last fifteen or so minutes of her life and who could have murdered her that by the time the killer is exposed you almost lost interest in who and what he, or she, is anymore.
It's the fine acting from Van Haflin on down and witty script that keeps you watching and staying with the film's slow moving story that takes a while to take hold but the final few minutes more then make up for it.
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