A fabulous spy film boasting top draw scripting, and supreme direction.
Carol Reed is a truly wonderful director, his CV boasts the likes of The Third Man, Oliver and Odd Man Out, all great films for sure, which only makes it more infuriating that a gem like Night Train To Munich is incredibly hard to get hold of. I have only managed to catch it myself because of the unearthing of VHS tapes long thought to have been lost years ago, and it's just like finding hidden treasure I tell you! Based on a story by Gordon Wellesley, and scripted by the adroitly talented teaming of Sydney Gilliat/Frank Launder, Night Train To Munich is a lesson in how to not over blow your subject, all the sequences flow without boring the viewer, with Reed astutely approaching the material with subtlety instead of blunderbuss bluster.
Another highlight of the movie to me is that it could have so easily been a propaganda bore, the Germans being the devil incarnate, but here it feels that an equality of characterisations was the order of the day. Something that many other genre pieces lost sight of further down the line. Rex Harrison, Margaret Lockwood and Paul Henreid are all excellent here, whilst wonderful comedic relief comes courtesy of Naunton Wayne and Basil Radford's English cricketers (fans of The Lady Vanishes will identify right away). Although this picture is script driven above all else, the action sequences are a joy to behold, with the final third of the picture an unadulterated pleasure, spies and stooges, plants and treachery, oh it's all here folks, enjoy--if you can get it that is! 9/10
Footnote: Now available on Region 1 DVD. Hooray!