MRS. O’MALLEY AND MR. MALONE. MGM, 1950. Marjorie Main, James Whitmore, Ann Dvorak, Phyllis Kirk, Fred Clark, Dorothy Malone, Willard Waterman, Don Porter. Based on the story “Once Upon A Train, or The Loco Motive” by Craig Rice & Stuart Palmer. Director: Norman Taurog.

   Somehow in the translation from printed page to film, Hildegarde Withers becomes Hattie O’Malley, a widow from Montana who wins $50,000 in a radio contest and heads to New York City to collect. Halfway there, Chicago to collect, her path crosses that of attorney J. J. Malone.

   The rest of the movie takes place on the train, on the trail of a paroled embezzler. While James Whitmore plays the disreputable Malone to perfection, Marjorie Main simply tones down her Ma Kettle character a notch or two. It’s not much of a mystery, but funny? You bet!

— Reprinted and very slightly revised from Movie.File.8, January 1990.