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Grand Central Murder (1942)

aka Grand Central Murder

Directed By: 
Details: 73 mins · English


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Small 'Rocky' Custer
Small Mida King, Stage Name of Beulah Toohey
Small Constance 'Connie' Furness
Small Sue 'Butch' Custer
Small Roger Furness
Small Inspector Gunther
Small Pearl Delroy
No_movie_poster David V. Henderson
Small 'Turk' (as Horace McNally)
Small Frankie Ciro
No_movie_poster 'Baby' Delroy
No_movie_poster Paul Rinehart
Small Ramon
Small Detective Arthur Doolin


No_movie_poster George J. Folsey Director of Photography
No_movie_poster David Snell Original Music Composer
No_movie_poster Conrad A. Nervig Editor
No_movie_poster S. Sylvan Simon Director
No_movie_poster Sue MacVeigh Novel
No_movie_poster Peter Ruric Screenplay
No_movie_poster B.F. Zeidman Producer
No_movie_poster Conrad A. Nervig Editing


Convicted murderer "Turk" (Stephen McNally) escapes from police custody, crashing through a washroom window as a train pulls into Grand Central Station in New York. He telephones his former girlfriend, Broadway star Mida King (Patricia Dane), and threatens to kill her. She leaves her show between acts and hides in a private train car on a siding at the station, planning to leave town and marry her rich, high society fiance, David V. Henderson (Mark Daniels). However, her body is found by David and his ex-fiancee, Connie Furness (Cecilia Parker).

Police Inspector Gunther (Sam Levene) is called in to solve the crime. The doctor at the scene is unable to determine the cause of death.

Turk is recaptured, and wisecracking private detective "Rocky" Custer (Van Heflin), whom Turk had hired, is also brought in, as he had helped his client evade the police. Other suspects are rounded up: Mida's greedy phony psychic stepfather Ramon (Roman Bohnen); her ex-husband Paul Rinehart (George Lynn), who works at the station; and her producer Frankie Ciro (Tom Conway). Also mixed in are Mida's maid, ex-burlesque singer Pearl Delroy (Connie Gilchrist) and her daughter "Baby" (Betty Wells), Mida's understudy. Then Roger Furness (Samuel S. Hinds), Connie's magnate father and chairman of the board of the railroad, shows up to guard his daughter's interests. Gunther gets each to tell what they know, with the unwelcome assistance of Rocky.

It turns out that the victim was a calculating gold digger. Like the inspiration of her stage name, King Midas, everything (or rather every man) she touched, turned to gold for her purse. She had used each successive boyfriend as a stepping stone, then discarded each in turn, in her climb up the social ladder. Landing millionaire David was to have been her crowning achievement, the fulfillment of her lifelong ambition. Frankie finds her, but she calms his anger at the prospect of losing the star of his expensive production by telling him that she plans to get a rich divorce settlement in about six months, more than enough to finance an even more lavish show. This conversation is overheard by David, giving him a motive. During the investigation, Ramon dies, apparently of a weak heart.

Rocky is able to solve the case and show that Ramon too had been murdered. The killer electrocuted Mida while she was in the shower of the locked railway car by connecting the plumbing to the electrified third rail. When he went to return the wiring to the storage locker, he was spotted by Ramon. The murderer paid Ramon off, but later got rid of the loose end with poison. Rocky identifies the man as Roger Furness. Furness breaks away and jumps aboard a departing train, only to fall off to his death on the third rail.