Night Train to Munich (1940)

vt In Disguise; vt Night Train
UK / 95 minutes / bw / Twentieth Century, MGM Dir: Carol Reed Pr: Edward Black Scr: Sidney Gilliat, Frank Launder Story: Gordon Wellesley Cine: Otto Kanturek Cast: Margaret Lockwood, Rex Harrison, Paul von Hernried (i.e., Paul Henreid), Basil Radford, Naunton Wayne, James Harcourt, Felix Aylmer, Wyndham Goldie, Roland Culver, Eliot Makeham, Raymond Huntley, Austin Trevor, Kenneth Kent, C.V. France, Fritz Valk, Morland Graham, Irene Handl.

Set in the days immediately leading up to the declaration of war between the UK and Germany, and made before the full horrors were known of what was going on under the Reich, this movie has an obvious propaganda agenda; yet it’s a fine thriller in its own right, leavened with some well judged humor. With a director like Carol Reed and stars like Margaret Lockwood, Rex Harrison, Paul Henreid and of course the Naunton Wayne/Basil Radford combo, one would hardly expect otherwise.

 

Margaret Lockwood and James Harcourt as Anna and Axel Bomasch.

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Night Train (2009 DTV)

US, Germany, Romania / 91 minutes / color / A-Mark, Rifkin/Eberts, FilmTiger Dir & Scr: M. Brian King Pr: Brian Etting, Wendy Park, Bruce McNall, Steve Markoff, Arnold Rifkin, Christopher Eberts, Michael Philip Cine: Christopher Popp Cast: Danny Glover, Leelee Sobieski, Steve Zahn, Matthias Schweighoefer, Geoff Bell, Constantine Gregory, Richard O’Brien, Takatsuna Mukai, Togo Igawa, Jo Marr.

A highly effective black comedy, done with lashings of CGI (the exteriors seem to be almost entirely CGI; the interiors often seem, especially in the earlier parts of the movie, to be done as CGI-enhanced live action). There are also plenty of hat-tips, via the character names, to earlier noir/crime movies—the names Mr. Gutman and Mr. Cairo obviously referring to The MALTESE FALCON (1941) and Mrs. Froy to The Lady Vanishes (1938)—although besides these hat-tips there aren’t really any further resemblances (except, perhaps, in that the plot role of this movie’s MacGuffin could be compared to that of the Maltese Falcon). Other movie influences might seem to be Hellraiser (1987), Murder on the Orient Express (1974) and even, in terms of visual style, The Polar Express (2004).

Night Train - CGI fest (do as opener, query)

A movie of great visual style.

Senior guard Miles (Glover; “I know everything about this train except its favorite color”) and his far junior colleague Frankie (Schweighoefer) run a night train called Continue reading