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VINE VOICEon 20 August 2010
Although "Night Train" isn't quite up to the standard of the original version of "The Lady Vanishes" (more derring do than "who done what to who?") it is still one of the best of the "Brave Britons Outsmarting Swinish Foreigners" films of the period.

It benefits from the presence of Margaret Lockwood, who plays her part with the same conviction that she showed in "The Lady Vanishes"; Rex Harrison, as the dashing spy; and the ultra-British Charters and Caldicott, again acting with self-effacing bravery in the face of the enemy as they desperately try to get home in time to see a cricket match.

For some people this kind of film may seem hopelessly stereotyped and old-fashioned. But if you tend to enjoy British films of the 1940s, and especially if you've enjoyed "The Lady Vanishes", this is an absolute "must".
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on 23 April 2016
Rex Harrison's chiselled profile cuts its way insolently through 90 minutes of homely espionage, as he rescues Margaret Lockwood and her boffin 'father' from evil Nazi fanatic Paul Henreid. Plenty of atmosphere and railway smoke, culminating in an alpine stand-off. Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne bat and bowl their way to the pavilion with distinction (as in "The Lady Vanishes") and will be mentioned in despatches. A young-looking Raymond Huntley manages a rather entertaining cameo as a cynical German office functionary ("It's not a fine country; it's a bloody awful country..").

Funny, exciting and entertaining, superbly directed.
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This review is for the CRITERION DVD. An excellent transfer, 4.3 ratio, good clear picture and dialogue (but as "Film Fan" says, there is music that does require the remote, but it isn't too frequent.) Good action, good cast (Lockwood is excellent), direction, thrills and comedy (and Irene Handl). A classic, and this is a must have version. Good booklet accompanies the DVD plus a conversation about the film and Carol Reed. Highly recomended
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Now rarely revived and often dismissed as a bit of derivative Lady Vanishment when it is - it not only stars Margaret Lockwood but even includes Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne as the cricket-mad Charters and Caldicott and shares the same screenwriters - it's not too hard to see why Carol Reed's Night Train to Munich was such a big hit in the still-free world in 1940. It's unashamedly a propaganda picture, but one with wit, a decent plot and a good cast even if it doesn't have Hitchcock's gift for suspense. Having escaped from a concentration camp with Czech teacher Paul Henreid (still billed as Pal Von Hernreid) to be reunited with her refugee scientist father, Lockwood's saviour turns out to be a Nazi spy sent to arrange her escape so they can kidnap the old man and get his new armour-plating formula. So, having fallen down on the job once, Rex Harrison's secret service man (first seen working his cover as a seaside song peddler) decides to pop over to Germany to kidnap him back before war can be declared. A few bluffs and romantic masquerades later they're on the train of the title, along with Charters and Caldicott and Henreid's increasingly suspicious spy, cueing the expected but still enjoyable complications en route to a cable car climax that sees Rex Harrison get a 29-year head start on Richard Burton in the jumping-from-cablecar-to-cablecar stakes...

There's not a great deal that's unexpected here, but it plays out as a pleasing comedy thriller that ticks all the right boxes, The Lady Vanishes screenwriters Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat no longer having to pretend their story isn't set in Germany and having as much fun taking pot shots at Harrison's own ego as the subtle differences between saying "This is a fine country to live in" and "This is a FINE country to live in" to a Gestapo man (as Raymond Huntley's Nazi bureaucrat notes to himself, the proper emphasis is "This is a bloody awful country to live in."). Nor do they take their propaganda duties with much more than a pinch of salt: while they make jokes about Mein Kampf being given to married couples in Germany ("I don't think it's that sort of book, old man"), they'll also follow Lockwood's relief at being in Britain where people are free to say and think what they like with an irritable mother immediately smacking her unruly child for doing just that! It's never particularly thrilling and there's never any doubt that right will triumph over Nazi might, but it's too entertaining a journey to complain - and there's a great unbilled bit-part from Irene Handl as a bossy German station mistress that's as fine a bit of scene-stealing as you're likely to see. Shame Criterion's Region 1 NTSC DVD couldn't come up with more than a 28-minute discussion of the film's background and production between film historians Peter Evans and Bruce Babington and the customary booklet, though, but the print at least is superb
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 August 2011
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!
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on 6 September 2010
Harrison and Lockwood are very good, as is Paul Henreid with his name mis-spelt in the credits. The film is reminiscent of THE LADY VANISHES but not quite as good. Still, super fun with Harrison in top form and with a couple of clever twists that make it a worthwhile watch. The major downside is that copy quality is sub-standard.
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on 20 May 2014
An excellently cast and directed film by Carol Reed; nine years before his 'The Third Man' film. I agree with the supposition that had Alfred Hitchcock still been directing in Britain at this time; it would have been one his films. Reed did an excellent job, directing with a surety worthy of the master. Reed cleverly employs Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne along with Margret Lockwood, all from 'The Lady Vanishes' cast in this delightful romp commencing with the Nazi's occupation of Czech O Slavkia, an event that prefigures the commencement of WW2. This exciting chase/espionage film rattles along at a good pace that along with its many adventures catapults the drama into the commencement of WW2.
An excellent film for those interested in the events and concerns of many that led up to the last great global conflict, along with skillfully placed comic moments. All worthy of A. H.
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on 14 December 2010
I am pleased to get this film, the quality of the film is very good to say it was made in 1939 & the acting is very good, i find the older films are better than the present day
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on 12 August 2013
A comedy thriller with Nazi spies one needs to get into the classic cinema pace, which is slow by present standards. Produced soon after Hitchcocks 'The lady vanishes'it shares some characters and of course a train. Night Train does not have the polish of Hitchcock but has a good story, some classy direction and acting, and is interesting as a run up to some very great films by Carol Reed.
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on 21 October 2013
We skate over the creakiness of some of the SFX to find a wittily written propaganda film with a light touch: just the things the Germans wouldn't have done because Nazism wouldn't come with a light sense of humour. Briskly plotted and clearly inspired by Hitchcock: Rex Harrison has one of those revolvers with about 21 bullets in it; Radford and Wayne do their classic golfin' and cricketin' bit but with a plot purpose; Henreid is impressively believable and Margaret Lockwood spiffingly attractive. It's tempting to say 'get on with it' at times but it gathers pace and, despite the model cars, has an 'exciting' climax.
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