Night Train to Munich (December 19, 1940)
Released on December 19, 1940: A British spy outwits a German spy on the eve of WWII and helps a scientist and his daughter escape the Nazis.
Directed by Carol Reed
Written by Gordon Wellesley, Sidney Gilliat and Frank Launder.
The Actors: Margaret Lockwood (Anna Bomasch), Rex Harrison (Gus Bennett), Paul Henreid (Karl Marsen), Basil Radford (Charters), Naunton Wayne (Caldicott), James Harcourt (Axel Bomasch), Felix Aylmer (Doctor Fredericks), Wyndham Goldie (Dryton), Roland Culver (Roberts), Eliot Makeham (Schwab), Raymond Huntley (Kampenfeldt), Austin Trevor (Captain Prada), Kenneth Kent (controller), C.V. France (Admiral Hassinger), Frederick Valk (Gestapo officer), Morland Graham (teleferic attendant), Edward Baxter (unknown), Jane Cobb (unknown), Arthur Denton (deck chair attendant), Ian Fleming (official at the Home Office), Irene Handl (station master), Bryan Herbert (inspector on train), Adolf Hitler (himself, archive footage), David Horne (official at Prague Steel Works), Allan Jeayes (prisoner in concentration camp), Albert Lieven (concentration camp guard), Howard Marion-Crawford (SS Officer checking passes), G.H. Mulcaster (unknown), Charles Oliver (SS Officer at concentration camp), Winifred Oughton (unknown), Wally Patch (fisherman), J.H. Roberts (unknown), Billy Russell (Adolf Hitler), Torin Thatcher (unknown), Wilfred Walter (official at Prague Steel Works), John Wengraf (concentration camp physician), Ben Williams (train steward), Pat Williams (unknown), Pardoe Woodman (unknown).
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James Bond, agent 007 was created by Ian Fleming in 1953 . . . and I wonder if author Fleming saw this 1940 spy thriller starring Rex Harrison as a British secret agent trying to smuggle a scientist and his daughter out of German controlled Prague. As I watched the character that Harrison played I saw a fellow with a suave, cocky self-confidence even in the face of death that reminded me so much of the 007 character that it was uncanny. There are no huge explosions, no thrilling car chases and helicopter crashes or amazing weapons in this spy thriller. But we do have two spies competing mano-a-mano over the control of a scientist and his daughter. The brains and cunning of a British master spy against a German master spy. We also have the beautiful love interest for both of them in the form of gorgeous Margaret Lockwood, who plays the young daughter of the scientist. And there are a couple of bungling Brits who manage to first accidentally expose our hero's identity to the German spy, and then help our hero escape the German spy who is about to capture them all. If you are in the mood for a great spy thriller with more wit and wisdom than dynamite and destruction, pop that bowl of white kernel popcorn and enjoy an adventure about a British spy who outsmarted the Nazis and got the girl and her papa safely out of Germany on the eve of World War II.
Felix Aylmer in Night Train to Munich
Irene Handl, the station master on the way to Munich
James Handl and Margaret Lockwood
John Wengraf examines Paul Henreid before he gets a whipping
John Wengraf as a concentration camp doctor in Night Train to Munich
Margaret Lockwood and Arthur Denton
Margaret Lockwood and Paul Henreid meet in the concentration camp and plan their escape
Margaret Lockwood meets Rex Harrison
Margaret Lockwood, as she is arrested before she can escape Prague
Naunton Wayne and Basil Radford
Paul Henreid and Kenneth Kent
Rex Harrison and Margaret Lockwood on the night train to Munich
Rex Harrison clings desperately to the cable car to avoid falling to his death.
Rex Harrison, pretending to be a German officer
Rex Harrison with his singing partner in London