“Night Train to Munich” (1940)

Night Train to Munich, a lesser-known film by Carol Reed, director of The Third Man, owes a lot to its predecessor, Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes, with which it shares screenwriters, lead actress and supporting actors. It does, however, hold its own in a lovely new Criterion edition. It was both filmed and set in the very beginning of World War II, which is one of the reasons many of the Nazis are portrayed as fools rather than evil, as the extent of their actions wasn’t yet known.

Margaret Lockwood is the daughter of a scientist whose new method of armour-plating vehicles might be critical in the war. Both the Nazis and the English are trying to secure the scientist to their side with secret agents and complicated plans. Paul von Hernried (who would soon leave, before he was arrested, for Hollywood to become better known as Paul Henried in Casablanca) meets the daughter in a concentration camp. Twenty minutes in she meets co-star Rex Harrison, a seaside song and dance man, and their roles entwine engagingly for the rest of the film. Entertaining and worth watching, this is a beautiful print, and the Criterion dvd comes with a good history and essay on the film.

2 Responses to ““Night Train to Munich” (1940)”

  1. weirleader Says:

    this one sounds like fun. Looking at the movie cover reminded me of Where Eagles Dare. Have you seen that one? It’s one of my favorites.

  2. girldetective Says:

    WL, I haven’t seen it, but it may be part of the clint eastwood dvd collection I got my husband last year.