Murder In The Private Car
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Good news: Switchboard operator Ruth Raymond (Mary Carlisle) is the long-lost daughter of a railroad tycoon. Bad news: The cross-country train trip she takes to claim her birthright is going to be a veritable slay ride. A crazy-quilt concoction stitched together with laughs and chills in equal measure, Murder in the Private Car is a roaring-fast caper wherein a delightfully dithering Charlie Ruggles dubiously comes to the rescue as a “crime deflector.” It’s a haunted house on wheels, complete with grasping hands from hidden wall panels, a loose gorilla (courtesy of a circus train wreck en route) and a menacing mystery voice issuing ominous threats. The finale is a pip: The private car becomes a sealed death trap hurtling down a grade toward an oncoming express. With comedy pros Ruggles and Una Merkel dishing non sequiturs and wisecracks, director Harry Beaumont, who steered the Oscar- winning* The Broadway Melody and many early Joan Crawford vehicles, conducts this wild and woolly mystery to a most entertaining destination.
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