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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.

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Writers:

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Kees Popinga
...
Michele Rozier
Marius Goring ...
...
Julius de Koster, Jr.
...
Jeanne, the prostitute (as Anouk)
Felix Aylmer ...
Mr. Merkemans
...
Louis
MacDonald Parke ...
Chicago Businessman
...
Maria Popinga
...
Goin
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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

A Non-Stop Suspense Thriller

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

5 June 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Paris Express  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Trivia

First Cinema film of Michael Nightingale. See more »

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User Reviews

Implausible Simenon tale saved by excellent Claude Rains performance
6 May 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is a rarity, an obscure colour film starring Claude Rains late in his career (he was 63), in a film noir. Rains plays a quiet and respectable Chief Clerk of a Dutch manufacturing firm which is owned by Herbert Lom and his aged father. Unknown to everyone, Lom has been obsessed for some time by a scheming and criminal Parisian tart, played tempestuously by Marta Toren. He has looted the company of all of its cash and left it a bankrupt shell, prior to running off to Paris to a new life with his beloved. This is discovered at the last minute by Rains, who has sunk his entire family's savings in the company, and hence lost them. Rains snaps and turns on Lom, pushing him into a canal in a rage, where Lom drowns. Rains takes Lom's suitcase containing all the company's remaining cash and runs off to Paris, which he has always wanted to visit. He has been a train-spotter all his life, and for years has been noting the passage of the Paris Express. Now at last he is on it. Marius Goring is a Dutch policeman who suspects Lom, and now trails Rains. When he arrives in Paris, Rains wants to find Marta Toren and he asks directions of a young prostitute in the street, played by the 20 year-old Anouk Aimée. She is listed in the front credits as Aimée Anouk, and in the end credits simply as 'Anouk'. So she was clearly having difficulty making up her mind her she was, or who she was to be, at that time. Like so many interesting mature actresses, she was very boring as a 20 year-old and makes little impression in her small role. (Another example of a fascinating mature actress being boring when young is Juliette Binoche, as I remarked in my review of RENDEZ-VOUS, 1985.) Eventually, Rains meets up with Toren, who at first laughs at him as a ridiculous old man and throws him out. But her attitude towards him changes when she realizes he has Lom's money. Things go from bad to worse, as Rains sinks deeper and deeper into delusion and intrigue. The film is not particularly convincing, and is only mildly interesting in itself, but the performance of Claude Rains is masterful, and truly makes something out of nothing, or should I say genuinely produces a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Admirers of Claude Rains will like watching this. But my goodness, Simenon has had a rough time of it, with films called THE MAN …, because his novel made as the film THE MAN FROM London (A LONDONI FERFI, 2007, see my review) is simply appalling, being 'the slowest film ever made'. Why do people buy the rights to Simenon novels and then not take proper trouble over filming them correctly?


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