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The Paris Express (1952)

The Man Who Watched Trains Go By (original title)
Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 5 June 1953 (USA)
A Dutch company's owner bankrupts his own company, burns the incriminating ledgers and plans to run to Paris with the company payroll but he is caught in the act by his accountant who challenges his actions, leading to a reversal of roles.



(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kees Popinga
Michele Rozier
Marius Goring ...
Julius de Koster, Jr.
Jeanne, the prostitute (as Anouk)
Felix Aylmer ...
Mr. Merkemans
MacDonald Parke ...
Chicago Businessman
Maria Popinga
Gibb McLaughlin ...
Julius de Koster, Sr
Michael Nightingale ...
Popinga's Clerk
Robin Alalouf ...
Karl Popinga
Joan St. Clair ...
Frida Popinga
Michael Alain ...
Dutch Train Conductor


Meek head clerk Kees Popinga realises at the same time as the police that owner De Koster has stripped his Dutch company clean because of his infatuation with a Parisian girl, Michelle. After a confrontation between the two men, De Koster ends up dead and Popinga makes off to Paris with the remaining money. There he contacts Michelle, with the police in close pursuit. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Non-Stop Suspense Thriller


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

5 June 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Paris Express  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


First Cinema film of Michael Nightingale. See more »

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User Reviews

Great acting and relationships save yet another flawed film...
29 January 2012 | by (Middle America) – See all my reviews

I enjoyed this little, quiet movie enough to watch it twice in a row, despite the bad quality of the print I was watching. Claude Rains is heartbreaking as an obedient, flawlessly accurate little bookkeeper so devoted to his boss (Herbert Lom)that he is blind to the fact that he's an adulterer and a thief that has ransacked the companies funds, and is planning to declare bankruptcy and run away with his little floozy (Marta Toren). Of course, Lom is not too clever about what he's doing, and Inspector Lucas (Marius Goring) is already sniffing around long before Rains does anything or knows anything. The story is modestly interesting, although there are some bits and pieces that are a little hard to swallow. The real value of the film is in the characterizations. Rains is convincing as a man repressing his impulses and desires until everything he understands about life and his place in it comes apart, and he lets go of all control. I love the quiet conversations between Goring's detective and Rains trembling, stammering suspect, as they enjoy a game of chess. We believe the detective is genuinely concerned about the little bookkeeper, and knows that something important is breaking down in this essentially good man. Unfortunately, the telling climactic scenes were so dark that I almost had to guess what happened. This film needs to be restored. Somehow the director made it seem like the only people in Paris were Rains, Goring, and a handful of miscreants. Nice claustrophobic feel. Worth a look.

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