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While waiting at a train station, Nikki Collins witnesses a murder from a nearby building. When she brings the police to the scene of the crime, they think she's crazy since there's no body. She then enlists a popular mystery writer to help with her sleuthing. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Deanna Durbin was truly a Hollywood phenomenon. Never comfortable as a film star, she exuded just enough conflicting emotion to make her screen persona fascinating.
In film after film, regardless of the part or situation, Durbin was never entirely at home before the camera or in her roles. True, she put up a great front, and by her mid teens was the highest paid female in the world.
Audiences loved her, supported her films, bought Durbin dolls, and reveled in her fan clubs. But Durbin herself apparently couldn't have cared less.
"Lady on a Train" is a case in point: her fifth to final film made at age 24 just 3 years before she retired at age 27, is a quirky hybrid of murder mystery, musical, and comedy. It gives Deanna a chance to flex her adult acting chops, while offering ample opportunities to warble vocal selections.
Durbin's dichotomy of between being on camera while wishing she were somewhere else is what provides her personality intrigue. Despite her infectious smile and gorgeous natural voice, Durbin's persona was negative.
What saved her was that she was a very good actress, and in fact became the saving grace of Universal Studios. Finally finding salvation in marriage to her "Lady on a Train" director, she kissed everything goodbye and left filmdom at the peak of her powers.
I'm sure she found what she was looking for in that quaint Parisian suburb, and that she may have significantly extended her longevity in the process. In the meantime, she left her public with some very pleasant films to enjoy.
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