Cast & Crew
Chicago radio writer Barry Cole is offered a $1,000-a-week contract by Nu-Youth Products, but unfortunately, he cannot write without his partner, Mitchell Raymond, who has broken up the team to take a job with the Winthrop Organ Company in order to please his fiancée, Marcia Winthrop. Determined to revive their partnership, Barry and his sweetheart, Josie Hart, cause Mitch and Marcia to fight and then trick Mitch into joining them on a train bound for Los Angeles. Knowing that Mitch is bound for Los Angeles, Marcia's father books her a ticket on the same train. When Marcia and Mitch reconcile aboard the train and decide to return to Chicago, Barry pretends to be ill to prevent Mitch from leaving. While Mitch writes the first installment of the show, Josie goes to the dining car and meets Eustace P. Trumble, who claims to be a wealthy manufacturer in search of a radio show to sponsor. Mitch has been assigned to share a drawing room with a glamorous WAC, and although he trades his compartment for Josie's berth, Marcia sees the WAC in her fiancée's compartment and decides to make Mitch jealous by flirting with A. J. Gunther, the philandering president of Nu-Youth products. After Mitch slugs Gunther in the eye, Josie tells Marcia the truth about switching bunks, and Marcia then forgives him and agrees to let Mitch collaborate with Barry. Upon discovering that Gunther is the sponsor of their show, however, the team despairs over the future of their writing career. Recalling that Trumble is eager to become a radio sponsor, Josie suggests that they approach him for a job. Hired by Trumble at double their previous salary, Mitch and Barry wire their agent the good news. While the boys work on their script, "The Purple Scorpion," two investigators board the train and advise Kayden, the conductor, that they are searching for an escaped lunatic named Eustace Hinkelmuff, who is suffering from delusions of grandeur. Kayden, annoyed by Barry's antics, is confident that Barry is their man. Overhearing Barry reading aloud his script, the two investigators enter his compartment to make an arrest, but when Trumble begins bragging about the millions of dollars he is spending for advertising, they change their minds and arrest him instead. With her fiancée's employment now terminated, Marcia makes amends with Gunther and wins the writing team a new contract. Upon arriving in Los Angeles, they are met by their agent and the Hinklemuff family, who identify Gunther as the real lunatic. The irate Trumble is then released, and when he is advised by an associate that he is wanted back East and boards a train for Chicago, the foursome follow him aboard the train in hopes of reinstating themselves in his good graces, while the furious Kayden decides to walk back to Chicago rather than travel with them.
Hal K. Dawson
Charles Lawton Jr.
The working title of this film was Hail the Chief. In the opening credits, the images of the first five actors are projected underneath their name credits. According to a pre-production Hollywood Reporter news item, Columbia purchased the comedy for $18,500, intending to assign Sam Bischoff as producer of the project, which was to star either Cary Grant or Lee Bowman. A later Hollywood Reporter news item notes that Chester Morris was replacing Dennis O'Keefe in the starring role. According to a news item in Los Angeles Examiner, writers Lester Lee and Larry Marks got the idea for the story after their own cross-country train experience.