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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

mild thriller

Author: blanche-2 from United States
17 March 2012

"Night Train to Paris" is a British B movie that stars Leslie Nielsen back in his TV days, when he was a reliable leading man. It wasn't until later that his persona took on the comedy that gave him an incredible second career. Here he plays Alan Holiday, an ex-OSS officer living in London and now apparently working as some sort of travel agent. After a series of murders, it falls to Holiday to deliver a magnetic computer tape to Paris on New Year's Eve. The ruse employs a photographer and models on a night train. Throughout the trip, the tape is hotly pursued.

This film is benign enough with neither the plot nor the execution giving Alfred Hitchcock any sleepless nights. The train scenes are well done, however.

It's all pretty silly, with Nielsen donning one of those combo nose and eyeglasses jobs to disguise himself, and the tape being tossed around like an old sandwich. The standout is Edina Ronay as one of the models. Her beauty and attitude embody the '60s London. She's a real bright spot.

Mindless entertainment.

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11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

What a Silly Film, But Watchable

Author: robert-temple-1 from United Kingdom
18 November 2008

Those who thought Leslie Nielsen was born with white hair and a silly expression are wrong. Sceptics will say that it is theologically impossible, but we have here incontrovertible proof in Nielsen's case of Life before Birth. (Of course, connoisseurs will have known all along that he appeared in 1956 in 'Forbidden Planet', with Walter Pidgeon, and even began acting as long ago as 1950, but that is our little secret.) The idea of Leslie Nielsen as a young leading man, as he is here, in an attempt at a spy thriller, seems too incredible. His comic talents are already emerging and he just cannot help himself, he sends up the script time and again. This film is so silly and so kitsch that it epitomises everything that was wrong with Britain in 1964. Whoever imagined for a moment that the Israeli actress Alizia Gur could conceivably be a sensuous female lead? Whatever charms she may have had (and the women in this film mostly thrust forward their busts by way of self-assertion, but it does not work very well), they are well-concealed by the hideous head band and beehive hairdo popular at that time, which were guaranteed to make any woman totally unattractive, and in this case succeeded entirely. Dorinda Stevens comes in rather late in the story and adds a much-needed touch of gravitas, but she seems to have stepped in from a serious film and joined the wrong cast of characters; this was her last feature film, so maybe she got smart. Eric Pohlmann, omnipresent in those days as a heavy, sweats and grunts here as he garottes people, never taking off his hat and trenchcoat. (Honestly, it would be more polite when murdering someone at least to take off your hat!) There is a kind of story, not much of one, but it mostly takes place on a night train to Paris (good shots of how the coaches were transferred to the ferry to Dunquerque at Dover), and there is a rather wrinkled packet containing a computer tape which gets passed around rather at random, looking increasingly as if the prop department had no budget at all. Somehow governments will rise or fall if this tape does not get to Paris, but no one seems really to believe that, and although people get killed, it is clear that they are risking their lives not for la Gloire but for the box office. At this time, films could still be made in black and white without being guaranteed box office failure as long as there were some murders. How long ago this all seems: the streets of London are empty, the train platforms are empty, there was nobody there, no waves of immigrants, no over-population, and 'fun' was simply bopping up and down with confetti in a train carriage for New Year's Eve, with alcohol being the strongest thing to take. Oh yes, Edina Ronay is in the film, very pouty lips, luxuriant hair, good figure, exuding sex appeal and a cheeky personality. Well, there are worse ways to while away a rainy afternoon. as long as your teeth are tightly clenched and you brace yourself to endure 1964 again (or for those who did not endure it, experience it for the first time in all its incredible banality).

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Pass This Night Train By **

Author: edwagreen from United States
17 July 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This 1964 film would have fared far better had it been a comedy. We know that Leslie Nielsen could do drama, but a comical interpretation of the film would have enhanced it, especially when on board on New Year's Eve, Nielsen puts on an outfit where he practically looks like Groucho Marx.

Instead, this film, clumsily down, becomes one where people are trying to smuggle a tape out of England to France, and two of the people are immediately killed by a heavy-set man using gadgets on his prey.

There is very little plot here if any, and of course, one of the ladies turns out to be in with the bad guys.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

breezy,almost too breezy, espionage film is a nice way to pass an hour

Author: dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York
8 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Leslie Nielsen stars in a smart breezy film about an important magnetic tape that has to go to Paris on New Years Eve. Nielsen goes to the aide of a friend and ends up in murder and espionage as he boards the title and is forced to avoid a mad killer.

Its just over an hour and is a fine mix of the silly Nielsen and the very serious one. Its nice to see that he could be both a man of action and a smart mouth fellow. If there is a problem its that its almost too slight a film, the plot propelling things along at such a speed that the film forgets to generate enough suspense. Its kind of a spoiler to say, but you really do know that Nielsen is going to be okay in the end. Its not bad, but when I got to the end of the film I was still hungry for more.

Recommended but have a second film ready

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Average Spy Thriller

Author: Homeric from Mt Muir
11 February 2008

Personally I would not call this a 'sleeper' as another reviewer has done. It is just not that good. Not that it is a stinker by any means, but it is only average at best for the spy genre. While watching I had the impression that it was made to capitalize on the James Bond movie "From Russia With Love", in which Aliza Gur had a small part incidentally. Nielson is somewhat of a lackluster leading man and just doesn't have the wit, charm, or presence that is required in this type of film. The best thing about it is the black and white photography and the direction isn't bad either. However, the dialog is corny, the acting never believable, and the plotting poor. The DVD print is top notch with both sound and picture of high quality. And as I said, the B&W photography does lend some interest. Not a throw-away, but average at best.

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10 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Excellent British suspense film.

Author: wdixon from Lincoln, Nebraska
21 January 1999

This is a real "sleeper" (no pun intended), a tight, compact suspense film that really keeps moving throughout its economical running time. The cast is uniformly superb, the direction is assured and fluid, and the film is a reminder of just how many quality low-budget films were made even into the 1960s, before the collapse of the double-bill and the end of black and white as a commercial medium. Well worth looking for; I don't know if the film is available on tape. It should be.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

One for train buffs and mystery lovers

Author: JohnHowardReid
29 October 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Although he directed numerous TV assignments, actor Robert Douglas directed only the one theatrical feature. This is it! And it's a must- see for train buffs, of course, even though it was mostly filmed in the studio. I tend to mostly agree with my colleagues at the Monthly Film Bulletin and The New York Times – though not about Dorinda Stevens. For me, Edina Ronay, who played Julie, was the truly nifty number in the film. I thought Miss Stevens a bit past her prime and Aliza Gur nowhere near as attractively costumed as she is at the climax and one or two other places. Despite its "B" budget, there are some other pleasing touches in the film which vindicate the producer's decision to release it theatrically instead of sending it straight to the box: The climax in the Dunkirk waterworks, for example. Eric Pohlmann plays the villain with his usual aggressiveness. Available on a very good Fox DVD which includes both the widescreen and full screen versions.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining thriller fluff

Author: Woodyanders ( from The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left
17 July 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Retired American OSS officer Alan Holiday (an earnest and credible performance by Leslie Nielsen) lives in London, England. He's visited on New Year's Eve by the beautiful Catherine Carrel (a charming portrayal by breathtaking brunette knockout Aliza Gur), who claims to be a friend of Holiday's former boss Jules Lemoine (a solid turn by Hugh Latimer). Lemoine convinces Holiday to carry out a secret mission that involves retrieving an important tape. Director Robert Douglas, working from a compact script by Harry Spalding, relates the enjoyable story at a brisk pace and treats the silly material with admirable seriousness. This movie further benefits from such amusing goofy touches as Holiday eluding detection by wearing Groucho Marx-style glasses and a guy in a bear suit. Eric Pohlmann makes a strong impression as hefty and lethal brute Krogh. Moreover, there's some mighty tasty eye candy provided not only by Gur, but also by lovely blonde Dorinda Stevens and the insanely yummy Edina Ronay. Kenny Graham's swinging jazz score hits the groovy spot while the sharp black and white cinematography by Arthur Lavis gives the picture a crisp noirish look. The tight 65 minute running time ensures that this film never gets tedious or overstays its welcome. A fun little quickie.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Night Train to Nowhere

Author: The_Dying_Flutchman from The El Monte Legion Stadium
7 February 2012

Long before Leslie Neilsen flew the funny skies of "Airplane" or packed heat as Det. Frank Drebben, he rode the rails of one of the dullest railroads on this planet. Yes, he appeared in an ultra cheap spy versus spy melodrama that took place on a train bound from London to Paris filled with New Year's eve revelers. One of the other spy guys, the main one, was an enormous fat freak who eventually dons a grizzly bear costume instead of the usual fright wig and Groucho glasses. Nielsen spends a good part of the 64 minute running time bolting in and out of 3 or 4 sleeping compartments on the anything, but convincing cardboard cutout train trying to recover a packet of a tape recording the French Sortie deem priceless. We're never told what's on the tape, but ultimately, so what, right? We do get to hear the refrains of a couple of nauseating and fake early 1960's tunes while the party goers dance the night away.

Another fine train drama comes to mind which could gave been a big influence on this, the immortal "Night Train to Munde Fine". Surely, the baritone inflections of its theme song, proudly sung by John Carradine, might have influenced the party songs here. Both films deal with the adventures of the spy trade and, as such, are certain hallmarks of what came to be known as "the Swinging 60's".

As the London to Paris Night Train winds its way to conclusion, Leslie Nielsen and his attractive co-star, Miss Israel of 1960, learn what true love can mean. Suffice it to say, the likes of this enchanting train ride will not come this direction again!

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Silly but watchable.

Author: Scott LeBrun (Hey_Sweden) from Canada
8 March 2017

Leslie Nielsen stars as Alan Holiday, a former O.S.S. agent who now works as a P.R. man for an airline in London. One New Years' Eve, a beautiful young woman (Aliza Gur) walks into his life, wanting passage to Paris. Also involved is Alans' old friend Jules Lamoine (Hugh Latimer). He gets them on board a ski train, where they will be pretend to be a model, and an assistant to fashion photographer Louis Vernay (Andre Maranne). It's all in the name of national security, and making sure that a disc containing all-important information is delivered to the proper personage.

As long as you know ahead of time not to expect a serious thriller, it's possible to derive some entertainment out of this. In reality, it's a rather goofy, hip comic twist on the spy genre that had simply exploded with the arrival of "Dr. No" two years previous. It requires Nielsen to sport one of the most ridiculous of disguises, one of those eyeglasses-fake nose-fake mustache deals. And, just to give you a further idea of what to expect, a helpful partygoer in a bear suit, whom Alan refers to as "Smokey", figures into the plot. There's no real suspense, and no real action. Even though a character dies, everything is given a light touch.

The casting of Nielsen makes perfect sense given the tone of the movie, even though his career in comedy was still a good decade and a half away. He's likable enough, and the supporting cast is solid: Dorinda Stevens and Edina Ronay as models, Eric Pohlmann as a thug, Cyril Raymond as a police inspector. The female cast are all notably sexy, especially Ronay.

Decent light entertainment, forgettable but mildly amusing, and appreciably brief in length, at just an hour and five minutes.

Six out of 10.

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