Martin Teller's Movie Reviews

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Lady on a Train

Posted by martinteller on November 4, 2011

A woman witnesses a murder through the window of her train and enlists a hacky mystery novelist to help her solve the case.  Comic noir is usually not my bag, but I found this one a lot of fun.  I liked Durbin much better here than in Christmas Holiday… her singing voice isn’t that great (and her rendition of “Silent Night” is shoehorned into the story in the most awkward way) but she has some pretty good comedy chops.  The enjoyable supporting cast includes David Bruce, Ralph Bellamy, Dan Duryea and the always delightful Edward Everett Horton.  Duryea is an actor who took me a long time to warm up to, but he works really well in this setting.  I’d like to see him in more comedies.  The movie isn’t incredibly funny, but it is amusing and moreover, the script does a good job of blending the humorous and the crime thriller.  One crummy rear projection shot notwithstanding, it’s surprisingly well photographed, with some terrific images and fine use of lighting.  Does it explore the darkest depths of humanity or knock you over with hard-boiled realism?  No, in fact a lot of it is really implausible.  But as light entertainment, it hits the spot nicely and sports some clever construction.  Rating: Very Good


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