"Murder-on-the-train" mystery has lawyer Malone chasing his paroled embezzler client (Kepplar) who still hasn't paid Malone's fee. When Kepplar jumps parole on a train to Chicago, Malone ... See full summary »
"Murder-on-the-train" mystery has lawyer Malone chasing his paroled embezzler client (Kepplar) who still hasn't paid Malone's fee. When Kepplar jumps parole on a train to Chicago, Malone follows, in company with Kepplar's ex-wife, a police inspector and Mrs. O'Malley, a hearty radio contest winner from Montana. Kepplar is murdered, and a game of musical corpses commences, with hijinks in coach corridors as Malone and Hattie search for the killer. Written by
Mike Rogers <MICHAELPEM@aol.com>
Would Have Been Better with Miss Withers As Originally Written.
The original story that inspired this film -- "Loco Motive" -- was a collaboration between Craig Rice and Stuart Palmer, featuring her alcoholic Chicago lawyer detective, John J. Malone, and his New York old-maid schoolteacher sleuth, Hildegarde Withers; it was the first of several stories (collected as "The People vs, Withers and Malone") teaming the two, generally in ways calculated to enrage and/or frustrate Malone's Chicago nemesis, Captain von Flanagan or Hildie's long-suffering New York Homicide detective, Inspector Oscar Piper.
Presumably because of rights issues -- money, perhaps, though this could have been during the time that Palmer (due to a divorce settlement) was intentionally making as little money as possible -- The Miss Withers part was rewritten to eliminate her.
It wasn't till some time later that an attempt was made to bring Hildie to the screen on TV, embodied in the formidable person of Eve Arden.
Other than disappointing fans of Miss Withers or of the original story in and of itself, this is a decent enough film of it.
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