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John S. Robertson
For a Brit flick of '32, this is surprisingly cinematic and stylish (and the granddaddy of train films) with excellent performances from Conrad Veidt, Cedric Hardwick, Finlay Currie and especially Donald Calthrop (best known as the squirming chiseller in "Blackmail") here an art thief on the run from partners Veidt and Williams.
Directed by the underrated Walter Forde this is a smart Hitchcockian piece with a good deal of suspense and humour, distinguished by stylishly nimble camerawork and excellent production design. As other reviewers have pointed out it does show it's age at times, with slightly muffled sound quality but provided you have patience with this it's good entertainment, and an interesting glimpse of the how the British acted abroad in those days.
Sidney Gilliat (of "the Lady Vanishes") had a hand in the writing and I could see themes and situations that would be developed further in future train movies.
The suspense builds throughout as Calthrop contrives to avoid his former partners one of whom, Veidt (in fine clipped form), has vowed to kill him. The sequence where Calthrop is literally presented to them, to be part of five in a round of poker, is a study in forced smiles and friendliness. Calthrop can't stop winning, much to the amusement of Veidt and the consternation of the others.
This is just the midway point of the film which also provides a great early part for Sir Cedric as a business magnet who appears philanthropic but in private is a stingy, deeply unpleasant individual, with little to differentiate him from the crooks. He is caught out though when his much abused underling discovers his dishonesty.
All in all an excellent vintage thriller
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