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Lady on a Train (1945)

Approved | | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery | 17 August 1945 (USA)
In New York, a woman who partially witnesses a killing from a train window seeks the aid of a crime novelist to solve the murder.

Director:

Charles David

Writers:

Edmund Beloin (screenplay), Robert O'Brien (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Deanna Durbin ... Nikki Collins
Ralph Bellamy ... Jonathan Waring
Edward Everett Horton ... Mr. Haskell
Allen Jenkins ... Danny
David Bruce ... Wayne Morgan
George Coulouris ... Mr. Saunders
Patricia Morison ... Joyce Willams
Dan Duryea ... Arnold Waring
Maria Palmer ... Margo Martin
Elizabeth Patterson ... Aunt Charlotte Waring
Samuel S. Hinds ... Mr. Wiggam
William Frawley ... Police Sergeant Christie
Jacqueline deWit ... Miss Fletcher (as Jacqueline de Wit)
Thurston Hall ... Josiah Waring
Ben Carter ... Maxwell
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Storyline

While in a train halted at a station, Nikki Collins witnesses a murder committed in 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 <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A SONG on her lips...MURDER on her mind! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 August 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La dama del tren See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lady on a Train (1945) is adapted from the same short story by Leslie Charteris that provides the basis for Return of the Saint: Signal Stop (1978) from Return of the Saint (1978), about Simon Templar, a character Charteris created. According to Robert S. Baker, the executive producer of Return of the Saint, Charteris was surprised by the similarity of Signal Stop to Lady on a Train. Whether John Kruse had seen the film prior to writing Signal Stop is unknown. See more »

Goofs

Nikki's hair goes through some drastic changes in an incredibly shot time span without any help. For instance, from when she sings "Silent Night" to her father, to changing to go to the Circus Club, to when she sings there. See more »

Quotes

Nikki Collins: I just saw a murder.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Christmas Hymns (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Night and Day
by Cole Porter
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Great cast and very entertaining
18 September 2010 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Deanna Durbin is a "Lady on a Train" in this 1945 mystery/comedy also starring David Bruce, Dan Duryea Edward Everett Horton, Ralph Bellamy, Patricia Morison, and George Coulouris. The film is directed by Durbin's future husband, Charles David.

Photographed and wardrobed like the great star she was, Durbin plays Nikki Collins, a débutante who comes to New York to spend the Christmas holidays with her aunt. On the train en route to Grand Central, she looks out the window and sees the murder of an old man. Determined to investigate, she appeals to the mystery writer whose novel she was reading (Bruce). She nearly wrecks his life. His fiancée (Patricia Morison) is suspicious of Nikki, and thanks to Nikki, he gets beat up a lot. Meanwhile, her father's assistant (Horton) can never find her. Nikki finds herself involved with the victim's money-grubbing family and puts herself in danger.

A screwball comedy with the delightful Durbin doing a great job, singing like a dream, and looking fabulous. It's very slight but fun and directed by David with a good pace. The child Durbin was a little manic for me, but I love her adult work. Plus, she had possibly the best voice and best trained voice in films. The rest of the cast is wonderful, particularly David Bruce as the hapless author.

It's a shame that Universal, with such a valuable commodity, didn't buy and/or develop better properties for her. Durbin is often compared with Judy Garland, who definitely got better treatment at MGM.

Durbin was smart to retire while at the top, though with the coming musicals of the '50s, I'm sure her star would have risen even higher. In many hearts, 60 years later, she's still a star.


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