Six people travel in a railroad sleeping car from Marseilles to Paris. Upon their arrival, a woman is found dead in one of the berths. The police investigate the other five passengers, ...
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In occupied France during the WWII, a German officer is murdered. The collaborationist Vichy government decides to pin the murder on six petty criminals. Loyal judges are called in to convict them as quickly as possible.
An unknown Polish writer can't publish his novels, so his ex-wife decides to help him and get some of the profit for herself. She finally finds a publisher, but there's a strange single condition that could cost the writer his life.
Anton Ludvik, aka Gerard, is vice-minister of Foreign Affairs of Czechoslovakia. He realizes he is watched and followed. One day, he is arrested and put into jail, in solitary confinement. ... See full summary »
In Uruguay in the early 1970s, an official of the US Agency for International Development (a group used as a front for training foreign police in counterinsurgency methods) is kidnapped by ... See full summary »
1959. Guilty of a double-murder, a man is beheaded. At the bottom of the basket that just welcomed it, the head of the dead man tells his story: everything was going so well. Admired priest... See full summary »
Six people travel in a railroad sleeping car from Marseilles to Paris. Upon their arrival, a woman is found dead in one of the berths. The police investigate the other five passengers, suspecting that one of them committed the homicide, but the suspects are killed one by one. The last two must solve the case themselves before they become the next victims. Written by
I saw Compartiment tueurs many years ago in a movie house in New York City. I walked outside feeling still overwhelmed by how great a movie it is. It is an excellent mystery with outstanding performances by Yves Montand and Simone Signoret, but it is much more. Most mysteries do not work the second time around. What matters too much is discovering who the murderer is, but not here. What counts is not just the suspense and action but something else, a profound moral statement. The film reminds me a lot of Hitchcock's Vertigo, in which the audience knows two-thirds of the way through the film what has been happening. Well, in this film the audience begin to catch on to something else, something more significant than the identity of the killer. We discover something more disturbing, the pettiness of crime, particularly of murder. It is what Hannah Arendt called the "banality of evil."
I like movies that have depth to them. I should, having degrees in several areas. As a philosopher and ethicist I relate strongly to what this film says. There is no greatness in criminality; by the end of the film we feel only a gnawing sense of all that has been lost.
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