Union Station (1950)
In this film noir, secretary Joyce Willecombe (Nancy Olson) grows suspicious of two men boarding her train. She sees that one of them is carrying a concealed pistol and is referred to Lt. William Calhoun (William Holden), head of the Union Station police. Although initially skeptical, Lt. Calhoun soon discovers that the two men have kidnapped Lorna Murchison, the blind daughter of Joyce’s wealthy employer, and are holding Lorna ransom for $100,000. How he goes about pursuing the kidnappers makes for one entertaining movie.
Both William Holden and Lyle Bettger give great performances. During his career, William Holden won an Academy Award and was nominated on two other occasions. One of those nominations came for his performance in Sunset Boulevard (also 1950), which may explain why he was not nominated for Union Station.
Lyle Bettger, who often played villains, plays one of the kidnappers. I don’t think he ever gave a better performance. He was one of the nastiest villains you’ll ever see in a 1950s film.
The film has two very exciting chase scenes, both of them on foot. While I am not ordinarily a fan of foot chases, the interesting locations will keep you intrigued. The film contains a shocking police interrogation of one the suspects. Also of interest is that part of the film was shot on location in 1950s Chicago. The musical score is well adapted to the film and helps drive the action.
This movie will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat.
Find out more about the film on TCM.com.