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Night Train to Munich (The Criterion Collection)
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Professor Bomasch, a Czech scientist who has discovered a new kind of armor, and his daughter, Anna (Lockwood), flee their country for Britain one step ahead of Nazi agents. The professor makes it but his daughter is captured and sent to a concentration camp. A fellow inmate, Karl Marsen (Henreid), befriends her and they manage to escape and make their way across the channel. Anna searches for her father and is directed to a seedy boardwalk song man, Gus Bennett (Harrison), who is in fact a British agent charged with protecting her father. A Nazi agent finds and kidnaps the professor and returns him to Berlin. He takes the daughter, too, and Gus goes after them. After many adventures, including Gus bluffing his way into Gestapo headquarters as a German officer, a danger-filled journey on the night train to Munich and a rousing escape on a tram line high in the Alps between Germany and Switzerland, Gus succeeds in rescuing Professor Bomasch and Anna and winning Anna's love.Read more ›
On one level, this film is a sort of remake of Hitchcock's THE LADY VANISHES. The parallels to the latter are especially strong, and not at all accidental. The screenplays for both THE LADY VANISHES and NIGHT TRAIN TO MUNICH were written by Sidney Gilliat and Frank Launder. Furthermore, Naunton Wayne and Basil Radford recreated their delightful characters Charters and Caldicott, two British twits who nearly stole the show in THE LADY VANISHES. Although they don't make quite the impact in this film that they did in THE LADY VANISHES, their presence nonetheless adds considerably to the film. The female protagonist is portrayed by Margaret Lockwood, who was also in the Hitchcock film. New to the Carol Reed film are an utterly delightful (as usual) Rex Harrison and Paul Henreid. Like THE LADY VANISHES, much of the film takes place on the European continent on a train, and the male hero in each film has a career that involves to some degree music.
NIGHT TRAIN TO MUNICH is not, however, as good as THE LADY VANISHES. The difference isn't in the cast and the script but in the directors. In a suspense film of this kind, Hitchcock would shame any competitor, and both his touch with suspense and with comedy (elements dominant in both films) exceeds that of the otherwise quite gifted Carol Reed.Read more ›
Still, as I pointed out above, there were no good versions of this available on tape or disc, and this does feature a beautifully restored print. In truth, if it weren't for the fact that Criterion had set such ridiculously high standards with previous releases, there would be no complaints with this one.
The film is such an explicit imitation of THE LADY VANISHES that charges of plagiarism might be leveled, if it wasn't that it was so clearly respectful of what Hitchcock had achieved in that masterpiece.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There is something about British films produced during the war, which they all share: survival. Especially, those produced prior to American involvement in 1941-42. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Stephen T.
PLOT: Czech scientist and his daughter try and escape Nazi Germany.
The Nazis invade Czechoslovakia and a scientist escapes to England. Read more
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