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"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>
A forgotten sleeper! Hilarious comedy/mystery aboard a train.
Thanks to the recommendation of critic/friend I caught this obscure gem on Showtime in the mid-1980s and have cherished my tape ever since. Boisterous Marjorie Main and blustery James Whitmore are as inspired a detective-team mismatch ever to grace the screen. Set in a cross-country sleeping-car train ride, "Mrs. O'Malley and Mr. Malone" is blessed with expert direction, a crackling script (based on a story by the wondrous Craig Rice, whose novel "Home Sweet Homicide" was the basis of another classic comedy/thriller), MGM's high-gloss production values, and, besides the endearing leads, a first-rate supporting cast (the luminous Ann Dvorak, lovely Phyllis Kirk, etc.) A swift, alternately hilarious and genuinely suspenseful 69 minutes, this forgotten treasure was intended to be the first of a series. A pity that no sequels were ever made. But TCM occasionally shows this gem, and don't miss it. And, amidst the laughter and chills, just try and guess whodunnit!
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