Monday, October 12, 2015

Night Train to Munich (1940)

     Night Train to Munich (1940) [D: Carol Reed. Margaret Lockwood, Rex Harrison, Paul Henreid (as Paul von Henried)]
     Agent Gus Bennett (Harrison) plays a German army officer in order to rescue Dr Bomasch, who was recaptured by the Nazis after an arranged escape of his daughter Anna (Lockwood) from a concentration camp. Henreid plays Karl Marsen, the evil Gestapo officer who tricked Anna into revealing her father’s location. Well plotted, but the slow narrative rhythm of the time allows us to see the holes. Harrison is in top form playing the stereotype he became famous for, the man who doesn’t take things seriously yet manages to outsmart and outfight all his adversaries, besides attracting the female lead who falls for him despite herself.
     A well done main feature, but even for the times the painted and model sets are a bit too obviously fake. The narrative pace is slow by today’s standards, which means that the story nicely fills its 95 minutes.  Radford and Wayne appear as Charters and Caldicott, the hapless and comically dense English tourists, who supply some levity and a crucial plot point. One of the earliest WW2 patriotic movies, and one of the best. Available for free download, and worth watching. ***

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