|Schism:His uncle was brutally slain; she wears a silly hat for detective work|
Deanna Durbin witnesses a murder from her train window and quickly becomes an amateur sleuth. Although the author of the adventure-mystery novel series, Saint, created the idea for the film, his influence stops there. The script is taken over by a couple of comedy writers who had worked and would continue to work with comedienne Lucille Ball, among others. It shows.
Train tries to blend a serious murder mystery and a wacky comedy, but the two styles interrupt each other, resulting in a film with severe mood swings -a phenomenon that was not uncommon in Ms. Durbin's films at the time. Indeed,
Deanna Durbin’s film career can be divided into three overlapping eras - the adolescent years, from which comes the perky (and profitable) Durbin formula of youthful tenacity and pluck; the post-adolescence/struggle era, where the now-grownup star fights for mature material and sometimes wins; and the resignation years, when Universal’s movie veteran - weary over the struggle for challenging scripts - essentially gives in to whatever work is offered.
Lady On A Train comes near the end of the post-adolescence/struggle era. During this time, there is a definite schism within some of Ms. Durbin’s films, trying ever to balance maturity and childlike vivacity, drama and screwball.
Read More at The Amazing Deanna Durbin Blog