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Night Train to Munich (1940)

3.7 of 5 from 51 ratings
1h 33min
Not released
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"Night Train to Munich", from writers Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat (Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes) and director Carol Reed (The Fallen Idol, The Third Man), is a twisting, turning, cloak-and-dagger delight. Paced like an out-of-control locomotive, this gripping, occasionally comic confection takes viewers on a World War II era journey from Prague to England to the Swiss Alps, as Nazis pursue a Czech scientist and his daughter (Margaret Lockwood, of The Lady Vanishes), who are being aided by a debonair British undercover agent, played by Rex Harrison (Major Barbara, My Fair Lady).
This captivating adventure which also features Casablanca s Paul Henreid mixes comedy, romance, and thrills with enough skill and cleverness to give the Master of Suspense himself pause.
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Gordon Wellesley, Sidney Gilliat
Gordon Wellesley
Action & Adventure, Classics, Thrillers
A History of Cricket Films, A Brief History of Film..., Top 10 British Actresses of the 1940s, Top 10 Films About Trains: Thrillers, Top Films
Release Date:
Not released
Run Time:
93 minutes

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Reviews (1) of Night Train to Munich

Comedy Thriller. - Night Train to Munich review by Steve

Spoiler Alert

One of the best loved British films of the forties, and a classic train thriller. In the last days of peace before WWII, songwriter/spy Rex Harrison must rescue a brilliant Czech metallurgist from the Nazis, while sparring with his attractive daughter (Margaret Lockwood), as they escape to freedom on the German rail network.

This is a sort of sequel to Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes (1938), because it features the popular Englishmen abroad, Charters and Caldicott (Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne), who are in great form, and rather touchingly still catching trains through middle Europe with the continent about to go up in flames.

And both films are comedy thrillers written by Launder and Gilliat. The similarities between the two films emphasise that Carol Reed isn't quite the equal of Hitch, at least in this genre. But then, who is? It is still a fabulous entertainment with some classic lines and a drop dead climax on the last cable car into Switzerland.

How helpful of the Nazis to employ such a duffer as ticket collector on a crucial thoroughfare to freedom! Perhaps it's personal preference, but arguably Rex is a little too pleased with himself to be sympathetic. But the film sends that up. And it's a shock to see Paul Henreid in the Gestapo... But these are quibbles! This is the great British spy thriller of the war years.

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