Customer Reviews


10 Reviews
5 star:
 (6)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Light and Breezy Murder Mystery, 19 Aug 2005
This review is from: Deanna Durbin: Lady on a Train [DVD] (DVD)
This is a Christmas snowflake from the wonderful Deanna Durbin. She may have saved Universal from bankruptcy as a young musical sensation in the late 30's, but by the mid 40's she had matured into a pleasantly gorgeous actress who made several memorable light comedies. This breezy murder mystery is one of her best. The entire film takes place over a snowy Christmas weekend and it makes a marvelous backdrop to this fun film.
Nikki Collins (Deanna) is on a train bound for New York for the Christmas holiday, reading a mystery by her favorite author, Wayne Morgan (David Bruce), when out the train window she witnesses the murder of Josiah Warring. Since no one will believe her, she hunts down mystery writer Morgan and slowly drags him into her enthusiastic search for the killer. He is engaged to a rather stuffy society babe, and we know right away that he and Durbin will end up together before the final curtain.
The murdered man was a rich shipping magnate and when Durbin attempts to snoop around the tycoon's mansion she is mistaken by nephew Arnold (Dan Duryea) for Margo Martin, the nightclub singer to whom Josiah has left everything, much to the chagrin of everyone. This gives Durbin an opportunity to go to the nightclub and do some amateur detective work, as well as do a sexy rendition of "Give Me a Little Kiss, Will Ya?" and the lovely "Night and Day," the latter in an alluring black dress you'll definitely remember.
The real Margo gets murdered of course, as does the owner of the swanky nightclub "The Circus," and everyone seems to be after the blood stained slippers Nikki has found that prove the tycoon was really murdered! David Bruce does a nice job as the mystery writer Morgan as does Duryea as the black sheep of the family, Ralph Bellamy being the good nephew. Edward Everett Horten gives a very funny performance as Mr. Haskell (of the New York office!) who has been instructed to keep an eye on Durbin by her father, a nearly impossible task!
This is an entertaining muder mystery that is a lot of fun to watch. Deanna Durbin and the great cast make this film light and airy. She married director Charles David II later on and maybe that's part of the happiness you feel from the screen. We get to watch a glowing Durbin solve a murder, fall in love and sing some nice songs, all during a snowy Christmas weekend. What could be wrong with that?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Enjoyable Comedy with a Very Grown Up Deanna!, 6 Nov 2010
This review is from: Deanna Durbin: Lady on a Train [DVD] (DVD)
This film is a fast-paced, fun thriller set in a film noir style but ultimately would fit into the category of screwball comedy fine. Chuck in one or two sing-along moments with its main star Deanna Durbin and you have the recipe of a fun classic.
Durbin looks particularly beautiful in this role, she is no longer a child star either.
In what is a mature role as Nikki who, on a train, notices the killing of a man, determined to find the culprit and bring justice, she approaches the police with her story but they refuse to listen to her; assuming she's affected by her hyper imagination, and somewhat influenced by the crime novels she has been reading.
However, it is those very novels that help her solve the crime. She hires a famous mystery author to help her on her journey to solving the riddle of the crime she witnessed as the lady on the train.
Durbin does add a few bits of childlike silliness but this adds the fun element to a film, which is meant to be a screwball comedy after all. She also wears a number of beautiful outfits, enough to make any classically inclined lady swoon and is gorgeous throughout! Durbin's voice is absolutely stunning as well.

Classic screwball with fun, thrills and tunes!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deanna Durbin, grown up and starring in a sort of a noir, with comedy and murder. Not bad at all, 29 July 2007
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
A film noir starring Deanna Durbin may seem as natural as eating an oyster with a splash of chocolate syrup, but if you're adventurous, well, somebody has to be the first to try it. Actually, the movie's a pleasant romp. Lady on a Train is a comedy mystery with some nice noir characteristics...shadows, trains, bodies and a climax in a darkened office building that would make Dick Powell feel right at home.

Nikki Collins (Durbin) is a society deb from San Francisco coming in on the train for a visit to New York. As the train pulls into Grand Central, she casually looks out the window of her compartment and sees an elderly gentleman in an office across the way having his head bashed in by a crowbar-wielding murderer. She can see the victim's face, but not the assailant's. There are two things we need to know about Nikki. First, she's an energetic, confident young woman who is as determined as they come. Second, she loves mysteries. In fact, she was reading Wayne Morgan's "The Case of the Headless Bride" when she looked out the window. She goes to the police but they don't take her seriously. Plus, it's a few days before Christmas and no one is looking for more work than they already have. What's an heiress to do? Nikki looks up Morgan's address and pesters and prods him into using his skills as a detective to help find the killer. Nikki isn't fazed when Morgan (David Bruce) tries to tell her he's an author, he's shy, he's faint-hearted and he's no detective. She's determined to enlist his help, but in the meantime she's learned who the victim is, a very rich man. And she learns not only where he lived, but that his family is saying the man died accidently in a fall. So off she goes to the family mansion in the dead of night with snow starting to sift down...and just happens to be mistaken for Margo Martin, a singer at The Circus nightclub who was the "fiance" of the dead man. Wouldn't you know it, the old man's will leaves nothing to his two nephews, the eccentric and courtly Jonathan Waring (Ralph Bellamy) and the charming and untrustworthy Arnold Waring (Dan Duryea), but everything to Margo.

Nikki has to deal with Danny, the Waring's thug of a chauffeur, and Mr. Saunders, the cold-eyed proprietor of The Circus who always carries a large white cat cradled in one arm. She finds she has to keep impersonating Margo, even if it means she has to sing "Night and Day" and "Give Me a Little Kiss, Will You, Huh?" as part of Margo's act. Tailing after her, like a small tug in the wake of a cruiser, is Morgan. I think they're starting to be attracted to each other.

Up to now the movie has been amusing, light-weight and very much a vehicle for Deanna Durbin. She's no longer the little girl with a wonderful voice, as she was in the Thirties and Early Forties. She's a grown-up, and the studio is showing her off as a romantic lead who has a sense of humor. She's impeccably photographed, stylishly dressed and confident as all get out. It all pays off in the last 15 minutes when Nikki finds herself in the same office building where the killing took place. She's got both nephews looking for her, and one of them knows where the crowbar is hidden and intends to use it. There's the garage with the creaking car lift, the great storage floor where mounds of grain are piled, there are all the empty offices and hallways...and everything is dark and shadowed. Nikki keeps her cool, although she's quite happy when Morgan finally shows up to help save her. "Oh, darling," she tells him afterwards, as he faints, "you were wonderful." Could the movie end without a marriage? And we know Deanna Durbin has grown up when, just before we see "The End," there's a charming moment of sexual innuendo on the train taking Nikki and Morgan, newly married, to San Francisco.

Deanna Durbin never seemed to take herself too seriously; she was always ready for a pratfall in the mud or a joke at her expense. She may not have had Judy Garland's overwhelming charisma, but she came close for a lot of people. More importantly, she didn't have Garland's edgy sense of an impending neurotic breakdown. Durbin was the girl next door with a sunny disposition, a great sense of humor and with a bit of the tomboy about her. In 1948, when she was 27, she announced her retirement. She and her husband, who directed this film, moved to France, where she still lives. She has never shown any interest in her movie-making past. She has never made another movie, has refused all requests for interviews and photographs, and has devoted herself to living a sane life. Good for her.

The studio surrounded her in this film with some excellent character actors. In addition to Duryea and Bellamy, there's George Coulouris, Allen Jenkins, Edward Everett Horton, Samuel S. Hinds and William Frawley. And in a small role is Patricia Morrison, who three years later would be wowing the crowds singing "I Hate Men!" in Kiss Me Kate.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lady on a Train, 24 May 2011
By 
This review is from: Deanna Durbin: Lady on a Train [DVD] (DVD)
I was very pleased to find this on Amazon.co.uk as a single disc! It was only available as part of a Deanna Durbin collection here in the U.S. Also, it was a much cleaner and crisper print! If you like this movie, I strongly suggest that you purchase it here...:-)...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A Light and Breezy Murder Mystery, 21 Mar 2005
This is a Christmas snowflake from the wonderful Deanna Durbin. She may have saved Universal from bankruptcy as a young musical sensation in the late 30's, but by the mid 40's she had matured into a pleasantly gorgeous actress who made several memorable light comedies. This breezy murder mystery is one of her best. The entire film takes place over the Christmas weekend and it makes a marvelous backdrop to this fun film. It is snowing in almost every shot and I watch this every Christmas like some people watch "It's a Wonderful Life."
Nikki Collins (Deanna) is on a train bound for New York for the Christmas holiday, reading a mystery by her favorite author, Wayne Morgan (David Bruce), when out the train window she witnesses the murder of Josiah Warring. Since no one will believe her, she hunts down mystery writer Morgan and slowly drags him into her enthusiastic search for the killer. He is engaged to a rather stuffy society babe, and we know right away that he and Durbin will end up together before the final curtain.
The murdered man was a rich shipping magnate and when Durbin attempts to snoop around the tycoon's mansion she is mistaken by nephew Arnold (Dan Duryea) for Margo Martin, the nightclub singer to whom Josiah has left everything, much to the chagrin of everyone. This gives Durbin an opportunity to go to the nightclub and do some amateur detective work, as well as do a sexy rendition of "Give Me a Little Kiss, Will Ya?" and the lovely "Night and Day," the latter in an alluring black dress you'll definitely remember.
The real Margo gets murdered of course, as does the owner of the swanky nightclub "The Circus," and everyone seems to be after the blood stained slippers Nikki has found that prove the tycoon was really murdered! David Bruce does a nice job as the mystery writer Morgan as does Duryea as the black sheep of the family, Ralph Bellamy being the good nephew. Edward Everett Horten gives a very funny performance as Mr. Haskell (of the New York office!) who has been instructed to keep an eye on Durbin by her father, a nearly impossible task!
This is an entertaining muder mystery that is a lot of fun to watch. Deanna Durbin and the great cast make this film light and airy. She married director Charles David II later on and maybe that's part of the happiness you feel from the screen. We get to watch a glowing Durbin solve a murder, fall in love and sing some nice songs, all during a snowy Christmas weekend. She also gets to sing the prettiest version of "Silent Night" you'll ever hear. What could be wrong with that?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Genre blender of considerable worth., 29 Dec 2013
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Lady on a Train is directed by Charles David and adapted to screenplay by Edmund Beloin and Robert O'Brien from a Leslie Charteris story. It stars Deanna Durbin, Ralph Bellamy, David Bruce, George Coulouris, Allen Jenkins, Dan Duryea and Edward Everett Horton. Music is by Miklos Rozsa and cinematography by Woody Bredell.

Part murder mystery, part film noir, part comedy and part musical! And it's a Christmas movie as well! Lady on a Train has a lot going on for sure. It's a fun packed little movie that gives Durbin full licence to show her various talents before she retired out of the limelight three years later. In main essence it's the murder mystery aspect that drives the picture forward. Durbin plays Nikki Collins, a spunky young woman who loves reading detective mysteries, so when she witnesses a murder being committed from her train window seat, she's obviously all of a tingle. However, convincing the authorities of what she saw proves to be difficult and she decides to take up the case herself. Pretty soon she is up to her neck in intrigue and life threatening peril.

Things start getting twisty once Durbin meets the victim's bizarre family, a veritable roll call of miserablists and shifty shysters. Aided by mystery writer Wayne Morgan (Bruce), Nikki has to run the gamut of bluffing and boldness to stay one step ahead of the game, including imitating a chanteuse singer. This allows Durbin to the chance to warble three songs, with a version of "Silent Night" beautifully tender and a sensuous and sultry rendition of "Gimme a Little Kiss, Will Yah, Huh?" Having us in the palm of her hand. It builds nicely to a darkly tinged last third, where Bredell's noirish photography comes into its own and the resolution of the tale is most satisfactory. Good laughs, good suspense and good songs, well worth a viewing. Story was filmed as a straight British thriller in 1940 titled A Window in London, with Michael Redgrave starring. 7/10
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, 6 Oct 2013
By 
Eric Mascarin Perigault (Panamá) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Deanna Durbin: Lady on a Train [DVD] (DVD)
After watching this film Louis B. Mayer had given blows to the head. He had the opportunity to have this superstar in his study but from the left. The truth is that Deanna is definitely glamorous, beautiful, charming. And no diva airs. She can play its role in this film noir with absolute perfection without losing a drop of charisma and grace. The interpretation of an Day Night Cole Porter is fabulous. Definitely you can not take your eyes off the screen if Deanna is on it. Do not know any artist so undervalued as this megastar, able to save Universal from bankruptcy, her own.

Luego de mirar esta película Louis B. Mayer debió darse golpes en la cabeza. Tuvo la oportunidad de tener a esta superestrella en su estudio pero la dejo partir. La verdad es que Deanna es definitivamente glamorosa, bellísima, encantadora. Y no tiene aires de diva. Es capaz de interpretar su papel en este film noir con absoluta perfección y sin perder ni una gota de su carisma y su gracia. La interpretación de Night an Day de Cole Porter está fabulosa. Definitivamente que uno no puede quitar la vista de la pantalla si Deanna está en ella. No conozco a ninguna artista tan subvalorada como esta megaestrella, capaz de salvar a Universal de la bancarrota, ella solita.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars about film, 28 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Deanna Durbin: Lady on a Train [DVD] (DVD)
remember my mother taking me to see this film when i was at school,and have allways enjoyed her singing.it is not her best film ,but still enjoyed it.yours faithfully doris finch
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars SUSPENSE From Start to Finish, 14 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Deanna Durbin: Lady on a Train [DVD] (DVD)
I had seen this DVD for quite a while, I am glad I took the plunge to purchase it. Deanna Durbin is FANTASTIC and the Cast of Actors is What makes this a FAB Murder Mystery.

This is where the Margaret Rutherford Movie Murder She Said is copied from. It starts with Miss Durbin reading a Murder Mystery Book on a Train. I won't give anymore away as the Story is EXCELLENT.

If you LOVE Old Classics this is definitely for you. Proud I now have it in my Movie Collection.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deanna Durbin, grown up and starring in a sort of a noir, with comedy and murder. Not bad at all, 19 Aug 2007
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Deanna Durbin: Lady on a Train [DVD] (DVD)
A film noir starring Deanna Durbin may seem as natural as eating an oyster with a splash of chocolate syrup, but if you're adventurous, well, somebody has to be the first to try it. Actually, the movie's a pleasant romp. Lady on a Train is a comedy mystery with some nice noir characteristics...shadows, trains, bodies and a climax in a darkened office building that would make Dick Powell feel right at home.

Nikki Collins (Durbin) is a society deb from San Francisco coming in on the train for a visit to New York. As the train pulls into Grand Central, she casually looks out the window of her compartment and sees an elderly gentleman in an office across the way having his head bashed in by a crowbar-wielding murderer. She can see the victim's face, but not the assailant's. There are two things we need to know about Nikki. First, she's an energetic, confident young woman who is as determined as they come. Second, she loves mysteries. In fact, she was reading Wayne Morgan's "The Case of the Headless Bride" when she looked out the window. She goes to the police but they don't take her seriously. Plus, it's a few days before Christmas and no one is looking for more work than they already have. What's an heiress to do? Nikki looks up Morgan's address and pesters and prods him into using his skills as a detective to help find the killer. Nikki isn't fazed when Morgan (David Bruce) tries to tell her he's an author, he's shy, he's faint-hearted and he's no detective. She's determined to enlist his help, but in the meantime she's learned who the victim is, a very rich man. And she learns not only where he lived, but that his family is saying the man died accidently in a fall. So off she goes to the family mansion in the dead of night with snow starting to sift down...and just happens to be mistaken for Margo Martin, a singer at The Circus nightclub who was the "fiance" of the dead man. Wouldn't you know it, the old man's will leaves nothing to his two nephews, the eccentric and courtly Jonathan Waring (Ralph Bellamy) and the charming and untrustworthy Arnold Waring (Dan Duryea), but everything to Margo.

Nikki has to deal with Danny, the Waring's thug of a chauffeur, and Mr. Saunders, the cold-eyed proprietor of The Circus who always carries a large white cat cradled in one arm. She finds she has to keep impersonating Margo, even if it means she has to sing "Night and Day" and "Give Me a Little Kiss, Will You, Huh?" as part of Margo's act. Tailing after her, like a small tug in the wake of a cruiser, is Morgan. I think they're starting to be attracted to each other.

Up to now the movie has been amusing, light-weight and very much a vehicle for Deanna Durbin. She's no longer the little girl with a wonderful voice, as she was in the Thirties and Early Forties. She's a grown-up, and the studio is showing her off as a romantic lead who has a sense of humor. She's impeccably photographed, stylishly dressed and confident as all get out. It all pays off in the last 15 minutes when Nikki finds herself in the same office building where the killing took place. She's got both nephews looking for her, and one of them knows where the crowbar is hidden and intends to use it. There's the garage with the creaking car lift, the great storage floor where mounds of grain are piled, there are all the empty offices and hallways...and everything is dark and shadowed. Nikki keeps her cool, although she's quite happy when Morgan finally shows up to help save her. "Oh, darling," she tells him afterwards, as he faints, "you were wonderful." Could the movie end without a marriage? And we know Deanna Durbin has grown up when, just before we see "The End," there's a charming moment of sexual innuendo on the train taking Nikki and Morgan, newly married, to San Francisco.

Deanna Durbin never seemed to take herself too seriously; she was always ready for a pratfall in the mud or a joke at her expense. She may not have had Judy Garland's overwhelming charisma, but she came close for a lot of people. More importantly, she didn't have Garland's edgy sense of an impending neurotic breakdown. Durbin was the girl next door with a sunny disposition, a great sense of humor and with a bit of the tomboy about her. In 1948, when she was 27, she announced her retirement. She and her husband, who directed this film, moved to France, where she still lives. She has never shown any interest in her movie-making past. She has never made another movie, has refused all requests for interviews and photographs, and has devoted herself to living a sane life. Good for her.

The studio surrounded her in this film with some excellent character actors. In addition to Duryea and Bellamy, there's George Coulouris, Allen Jenkins, Edward Everett Horton, Samuel S. Hinds and William Frawley. And in a small role is Patricia Morrison, who three years later would be wowing the crowds singing "I Hate Men!" in Kiss Me Kate.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Deanna Durbin: Lady on a Train [DVD]
Deanna Durbin: Lady on a Train [DVD] by Charles David (DVD - 2004)
£12.79
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews