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Rome Express

3.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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(Jun 05, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

A tense, Hitchcockian story of robbery, intrigue and murder which takes place on a trans-continental train. When a group of strangers, including thieves and blackmail victims, are thrown together aboard a train, the suspense rises. The film became the prototype, which spawned many other successful train thrillers, such as "The Lady Vanishes" and is one of the most famous British films of the 1930s. Remade as "Sleeping Car To Trieste". Product Specs: DVD5; Dolby Digital 2.0; RT - 91 minutes; B&W; Aspect Ratio - 1.33:1 / 4x3; Year - 1933, 1970; SRP - $14.99

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Muriel Aked, Joan Barry, Donald Calthrop, Conrad Veidt, Finlay Currie
  • Directors: Walter Forde
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: VCI Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 5, 2012
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007MCPN88
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,673 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This 1933 thriller was a precursor to The Lady Vanishes and Murder on the Orient Express. It was ahead of it`s time and in my opinion remains timeless.. Lucky for U.S. audiences it is playable in our region. The film is of excellent sound and picture quality. The cast (many are noteable), is first rate too. Not to be missed.
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Considered by some to be the prototype for many famous train-board thrillers to follow ('The Lady Vanishes' and 'Night Train to Munich,' among others), 'Rome Express' (UK, 1932) is a solid, briskly paced ensemble piece that was as critically well-received within its class as 'Grand Hotel' was in its during the period. One can argue that its plotting and characterizations-- like those of 'Grand Hotel'-- are somewhat cartoonish by later standards, but it's exceptionally well-shot within its confined spaces (particularly for an early talkie) and boasts admirably kinetic performances by a top-drawer cast, including standouts (soon-to-be stalwarts) Conrad Veidt, Finlay Currie and Cedric Hardwicke. VCI's print (4x3) is reasonably clean with clear audio and no extras. Film merits 3 1/2 stars, as does presentation/price.

Note - I don't know what another reviewer found to be 'vulgar' and 'pornographic' about RE, unless he got this movie confused with another or is being ironic. (There is a brief scene near the very beginning at the train station that juxtaposes two nuns against a cart carrying, among other things, French fashion magazines whose covers show drawings of partially clothed models-- oh, Gaumont!-- but if you consider moments of innocent humor like these offensive I dare not tell you about the wiener dog being processed through baggage... well, just turn away.)
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Although the plot is loose and rambling, this film (1932) is worth watching primarily for its affinities with Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanished (1938). The actor who plays the blackmailer in Blackmail and the actress who plays the heroine in The Secret Agent both appear in Rome Express. There are some witty montages, as when the film cuts between several characters downing bottles and the engine wheels. Conrad Viedt is very good as the villain. And Cedric Hardwick is wonderful as an actress's publicity agent. I don't know if the director Walter Forde knew Hitchcock, but I am positive beyond a shadow of a doubt that Hitchcock saw this film and learned from it. Another notable feature of Rome Express is the multi-lingual dialogue with no subtitles. The first ten minutes or so is all in French, since the train is departing from Paris. There is also a little German and plenty of Italian. Enough of the non-English languages is paraphrased by other characters for it to be clear to English-only viewers. Hitchcock went one better in The Lady Vanishes by making up a fake European country and a fake language.
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Original of the 'who-dunnit-on-the-train' film noir. This is an interesting 'who-dunnit' with the elegant British actress, Joan Barry, whose image is probably the one on the cover. Nice to see the original film that inspired so many others like 'The Lady Vanishes', 'Murder On The Orient Express' and others.

The sound is good and the picture resolution is clear, also, a good preservation of a 1930's era film.
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