Thursday, April 17, 2014

Union Station - Film Noir Review

          This movie was based on a book called Nightmare in Manhattan by Thomas Walsh.  There weren’t too many changes from the book to the movie.  Other than changing the setting from Grand Central Station to Union Station and making the kidnap victim a blind girl instead of a teenage boy, the movie lived up to the book. 

            As far as the beginning was concerned, there wasn’t anything to believe about it.  A woman is on a train and sees a car racing to make it to the next stop.  Two men board the train and one of them has a gun.  The woman notices and tells the ticket attendant.  His response is well, he may have a good reason to have a gun.  I can’t question him about it.  I guess the NRA was a powerful group even back in the 1950’s.  

            In any case, the attendant reports this to the police at the next stop.  One of them works at Union Station.  The woman who saw the two men tells the policeman.  The men proceed to a locker and put a small suitcase in it.  After they leave, the policeman is able to go into the locker and grab the contents.  What he finds is a scarf that belongs to a woman named Lorna Murchinson.  The woman who notices this says that there must be something wrong.  It turns out that she is blind and she has been kidnapped. 

              The plot for the movie from there is catching the kidnappers before they kill the woman.  Of course, they want money and she will be safely returned to her father.  As the movie rolls on, we see that that’s the last thing the kidnappers will do.  

             The police will do anything to get that information on this woman’s whereabouts.  In one scene, they manage to get one of the kidnappers and question him.  When he refuses to cooperate, they threaten to throw him on the train tracks when a train arrives.  Then he tells them everything. 

              The movie has an unbelievable plot and it’s hard to believe that the book was published.  Both of them have enough holes in the plot that make it look like swiss cheese.  Yet, if you can get passed that, the book does have edgy characters and several action scenes where the kidnappers shoot it out with the police, which leads to a good ending.  

             I’ve read a lot of pulp fiction books from the 1950’s and at the very least, all of the authors I’ve read wouldn’t create a story with an unbelievable plot such as this.  In any case, I’d still give the movie three stars. 

Ron Hummer 

No comments:

Post a Comment