6.8/10
2,571
41 user 35 critic

Berlin Express (1948)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 1 May 1948 (USA)
A multinational group of train passengers become involved in a post-World War II Nazi assassination plot.

Director:

Jacques Tourneur

Writers:

Harold Medford (screen play), Curt Siodmak (story)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Merle Oberon ... Lucienne
Robert Ryan ... Robert Lindley
Charles Korvin ... Perrot
Paul Lukas ... Dr. Bernhardt
Robert Coote ... Sterling
Reinhold Schünzel ... Walther (as Reinhold Schunzel)
Roman Toporow Roman Toporow ... Lt. Maxim Kiroshilov
Peter von Zerneck Peter von Zerneck ... Hans Schmidt (as Peter Von Zerneck)
Otto Waldis ... Kessler
Fritz Kortner ... Franzen
Michael Harvey ... Sgt. Barnes
Tom Keene ... Major (as Richard Powers)
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Storyline

In divided Germany just after WWII, people from many different countries are passengers on a train. When one of the passengers, a German working for peace, is kidnapped by people who don't want his ideas to work, the others must set aside their differences and work together to find him in time for an important conference. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Trapped on a Train of Terror!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | French | Russian

Release Date:

1 May 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Berlin-Express See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the end of their bus ride through bombed-out Frankfurt, the main characters arrive at the massive I.G. Farben building. Completed in 1930, it was once the largest office building in Europe and home to the giant chemical business. From 1945 to 1952 it was the location of SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters, Allied European Forces). From 1952 to 1994 it was the headquarters of the U.S. Army's V Corps. In 1996 the building was acquired by the state of Hesse, and after a $25M renovation became the Westend Campus of the University of Frankfurt. The small, continuous elevators seen in the film, called paternoster lifts, are still in use. See more »

Goofs

The narration for the final scene says the train arrived at Wannsee, in the far west of Berlin, but the scene shows them driving from the east, down Unter Den Linden and into West Berlin. The British and American then ask passing jeeps for lifts to their respective bases which they would have driven past on the way from Wannsee, whilst the Russian turns around and drives back under the Brandenburg Gate into East Berlin. See more »

Quotes

Robert Lindley: I had a kid brother that fought close to a British outfit in Italy... the turning point of the war.
Sterling: So, that's how American history will record it?
Robert Lindley: What do you mean?
Sterling: Well, the actual turning point of the war was El Alamein.
Robert Lindley: Oh, you're quoting English history now.
[They both chuckle]
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, a title card states that the photography of Berlin and Frankfurt is used with the cooperation of the occupying armies. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Image Book (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

 
interesting view of post-war Germany
3 February 2005 | by cheroldSee all my reviews

This movie is most notable as a historical document giving a glimpse of Germany after the war. The location shots in bombed out Frankfurt and Berlin are rather startling, and it's interesting to see the hatred and mistrust everyone has for the Germans. The movie is shot very well and the early scenes are excellent.

Unfortunately the script is weak. Towards the end I realized that I just wasn't clear on why things were happening as they were. It felt like the plot was just a backdrop to the ambiance, which was fine in the beginning but became a problem as the plot moved its wobbly self to center stage. I can't entirely blame the script though; I think Tourneur's greatest failing as a director is that while he had a lot of style and could always make things interesting, he could be sloppy in terms of telling a story. Of course he wasn't the only director who believed you could gloss over a lot if you just kept things moving, but that works better with a good muddled script like The Big Sleep rather than the distinctly ordinary but muddled script he worked with here. Still worth seeing though.


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