12 user 9 critic

The Paris Express (1952)

The Man Who Watched Trains Go By (original title)
Approved | | Crime, Drama | 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.


Harold French


Georges Simenon (novel), Harold French (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Claude Rains ... Kees Popinga
Märta Torén ... Michele Rozier
Marius Goring ... Inspector Lucas
Herbert Lom ... Julius de Koster, Jr.
Anouk Aimée ... Jeanne, The Prostitute (as Anouk)
Felix Aylmer ... Mr. Merkemans
Ferdy Mayne ... Louis
MacDonald Parke MacDonald Parke ... Chicago Businessman
Lucie Mannheim ... Maria Popinga
Eric Pohlmann ... Goin
Gibb McLaughlin ... Julius de Koster, Sr
Michael Nightingale Michael Nightingale ... Popinga's Clerk
Robin Alalouf Robin Alalouf ... Karl Popinga
Joan St. Clair Joan St. Clair ... Frida Popinga
Michael Alain 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 {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Non-Stop Suspense Thriller See more »


Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


First Cinema film of Michael Nightingale. See more »


French film actress Anouk Aimee, still relatively unknown at the time this film was produced, is billed with her name reversed, as Aimee Anouk, in the title credits. See more »


Kees Popinga: Lies? You mean 18 years of those dull, stupid books of mine? Those beautiful careful books? Those were the lies.
See more »

User Reviews

Catch This Express
29 September 2017 | by Richie-67-485852See all my reviews

Claude Rains is the reason to tune in along with Herbert Lom and good supporting staff. An amusing little off-beat little tale that starts out with conservative values and morphs into predator-prey dynamics startling when it does. It causes one to consider the traditional way of life i.e. hard work, steady long-term employment, owning a home raising two children and then repeating this over and over versus risking that life into an adventure and exploring another way to go about living. The catch? Be careful what you ask for. The whole movie is a good lesson in examining if you are content in what you do, if it is passion driven and if it is real. The main character is rather abruptly swept up into these dynamics and is intrigued while trying to figure things out on the way. Because he has not traveled in this fashion before, he doesn't know what he is doing but is content in not knowing. A simpleton comes to mind but with a struggle to keep his innocence against what would have him bet it to live or to give the illusion of living. We are introduced to large sums of money, a detective, a seductress and the lure of the carrot of life along with the favorite cliché "the grass is always greener somewhere else" which we know is not true but the main character does not. I found it interesting that the lust of the world was so well portrayed in more than one way. Watch how it has a push and pull to it but at some point loses its power if you can last that long. Fancy dining out, expensive wines, beautiful women, money to burn, having no rules, all wear-off leaving the "player" worse for it as the movie makes this point. Good snack movie or even a sandwich with a tasty drink while watching. Lots of human nature to discover in this movie. See if it applies to you and if you can relate. Enjoy

9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 12 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

5 June 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Paris Express See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Holiday Movies on Prime Video for the Whole Family

Prime Video has you covered this holiday season with movies for the family. Here are some of our picks to get you in the spirit.

Get some picks

Recently Viewed