Grand Central Murder

She receives just such a threatening call from an ex (“Death and me are just around the corner,” he warns, “don’t keep us waiting”), so she locks herself in a private train car at Grand Central Station, saying, “He’ll never find me there.”

Famous last words.

And among the first uttered in Grand Central Murder, an economical entertainment from the 1942, making its DVD debut from the MOD preservationists of Warner Archive.

On the case of the slain King is private eye Rocky Custer (Oklahoma native Van Heflin, Shane, 3:10 to Yuma), he of the crooked hat and square partner, wife Butch (Virginia Grey, Bachelor in Paradise). They’re perhaps a tad less zany than the suspects they round up.

Grand Central Murder offers an interesting, semi-serious variation on the locked-room mystery, as well as Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, only if the train never moved. At barely over an hour, the movie keeps viewers engaged right up to its, um, shocking climax. Fans of old-school whodunits, all aboard. —Rod Lott

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Rod Lott

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