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Secretary Joyce Willecombe grows suspicious of two men boarding her train and is referred to 'Tough Willy' Calhoun, head of the Union Station police. The all-seeing, no-nonsense Calhoun is initially skeptical, but the men (who escape) prove to be involved in a kidnap case. Calhoun calls in equally tough police Inspector Donnelly, but the ruthless kidnapper's precision planning stays one jump ahead of them. Most of the action centers around bustling Union Station.Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
During the chase on the elevated train, portions of the background rear projection that can be seen through the windows of the train are reversed, flipped so that the lettering of signs is backwards. Probably this was done to match the interior angles in the train that had been filmed. See more »
"Union Station" is a realistic 1950 film starring William Holden, Nancy Olson, Jan Sterling and Barry Fitzgerald. It was released after "Sunset Boulevard" so by the time it came out, Holden had actually moved up another level of stardom. Rudolph Mate directed the film in a quasi-documentary way, showing all levels of an attempt to rescue a kidnapped blind girl (Allene Roberts), the daughter of Olson's wealthy boss. Holden plays the detective in charge of Union Station, and he doesn't like the idea of anybody messing with his turf.
There are some very exciting scenes, particularly the one on the train, which as someone mentioned, very likely inspired "The French Connection." Holden gives a strong, macho performance, which makes the scene where he visits Olson in her home extra delightful, as he becomes embarrassed when her mother fusses over him. It's amazing that after Golden Boy, he toiled in so many films beneath his ability. Jan Sterling is the gangster's girlfriend with a heart - it's a small but showy and sympathetic role. Lyle Bettger is the villain, and he's slime all the way through. The only problem with the film is the kidnap victim herself, Lorna, who screams non-stop. I'm surprised her father wanted her back, but you know how it is with parents.
Really holds your interest. What a hunk Holden is. Highly recommended.
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