Monday, November 25, 2002


An amiable little mystery with a bit too much comic relief and a few too many characters for its own good. Van Heflin is a private eye who becomes a suspect in the murder of Broadway starlet Mida King (Patricia Dane). Mida wasn't very nice and several people have motives for murder. Primarily, there's her mobster ex-boyfriend Stephen McNally, and her rich fiancee David (Mark Daniels) who found out she was planning to divorce him in six months to get his money. David's own jilted girl (Cecila Parker) and her big shot father (Samuel S. Hinds) are also suspects. The murder takes place in David's private train car, parked under Grand Central Station (hence the title of the movie) and a hidden elevator winds up playing a big part in the solution. There are two fairly interesting aspects to the film: 1) the whole story takes place over one night, and 2) all 10-12 folks (suspects, cops, and bystanders) go racing around Manhattan to recreate the events of the evening. Other actors include Connie Gilchrist (the Irish maid in AUNTIE MAME) in one of her biggest roles as an ex-vaudevillian in Mida's employ (she actually gets a brief song in a flashback scene), Betty Wells as Gilchrist's sexpot daughter, and Millard Mitchell (SINGIN' IN THE RAIN's studio boss) as a bumbling cop. Sam Levene is the chief inspector who is constantly and somewhat implausibly upstaged by Heflin all along the way. Things bog down a bit in the middle but the ending redeems it.

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