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Sarrazin does his duty (as an actor of quality)...
Always wondered what happened to the 'boy-wonder' of They Shoot Horses Don't They. I'd see him here and there occasionally in parts that he could do blindfolded. However, here he has a part worthy of his talents and he makes good use of it. No longer a befuddled young man or some other sort of idealistic type, here he gets to be a villain, but not an ordinary cardboard stereotypical villain, nor an over-the-top role that an actor can ham, but a real person with all sorts of convolutions and character flaws and good points as well.
In this film, a rather well-done portrayal of the true-life Train Killer who caused terror on the tracks in 1931 Europe, all participants seem to be giving their best effort, including the bit-part players. While there is no typical build of tension and melodrama, the study of a man who desires to wreak havoc due to some sort of warning from God that he must deliver is quite absorbing. The possibilities of political unrest are all explored in the pre-WW2 Europe, and the fact that he might have been duped by the fascists who want things to appear as if the destruction was caused by communists is also explored.
But his warning was that he was directed to present to Europe a vision of the future, and that certainly was true enough. You will be intrigued if you do not expect the deafening slam-bang action of Hollywood presentations. There is good action here, but all within the size and scope of the drama, not overboard. A thoughtful rendering of a bizarre man, and you will be amazed at his life story beyond the train wrecks he caused.
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