5.2/10
35
3 user 1 critic

Orient Express (1954)

On December 24th the Orient Express gets snowbound near a little mountain village and its passengers are forced to spend some time there, mingling with the local people, upsetting their ... See full summary »
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Cast

Credited cast:
... Beatrice Landi
... Jacques Ferrand
Folco Lulli ... Filippo dal Pozzo
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert Arnoux ... Jean Tribot aka Mr.Davis
... Roxane
Liliane Bert ... Agnès, the pharmacist
Gemma Bolognesi
Arturo Bragaglia
Giuseppe Chinnici
Liliana De Curtis
Anita Durante
Ugo Filipponi
Ivo Garrani
Mimma Gheducci
... Bate
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Storyline

On December 24th the Orient Express gets snowbound near a little mountain village and its passengers are forced to spend some time there, mingling with the local people, upsetting their usually monotonous daily lives. Beatrice, the beautiful schoolmistress, finding it harder and harder to put up with the courtship of Dal Pozzo, the arrogant, pot-bellied mayor, falls for Jacques, a handsome journalist she mistakes for a time for a dangerous criminal. On the other hand, the sight of Roxane, a vaudeville star, kindles a flame in the pure heart of Giovanni, Dal Pozzo's bullied nephew. As for the pharmacist, she starts dreaming of a new life with Mr. Davis, an easy-going Englishman. Destiny will bless some of them and thwart others. Written by Guy Bellinger

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Plot Keywords:

village | train | See All (2) »

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

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Release Date:

8 October 1954 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Orient-Express  »

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Sound Mix:

Color:

(Gevacolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Trivia

German censorship visa #11240, delivered on 16 December 1955 See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another compilation of TV episodes
8 December 2005 | by See all my reviews

In theory, I agree with the other reviewer's evaluation. But what he doesn't realize is that "Orient-Express" was actually a short-lived European television series -- presumably co-financed by the various branches of the Pathe company (which I know had offices in Britain and France and possibly Italy at the time). Apparently, this was one of those one-self-contained-story-per-episode series, much like "The Twilight Zone." That explains the episodic nature of the film and the fact that it doesn't follow a coherent story. Basically, like a lot of failed American series of the period, the production company decided to salvage what they could, cobble it together, and release it as a film to maximize profits. Unfortunately, like the other reviewer has pointed out, it simply doesn't work.

But as a TV series, "Orient-Express" was not without its merits. It boasted on-location camera-work throughout Europe -- something that no American TV series of the time could do. But perhaps the finest episode, which is partially reproduced in this film, is the one that starred Erich von Stroheim and his then lover (wife?) Denise Vernac. That episode was titled "The Man of Many Skins" and features von Stroheim as a detective who solves cases by figuratively getting under the villain's skin: he imagines how the criminal perpetrated the crime. What's even more clever, however, is that he also gets under their skins literally because he plays the role of the villain, too. Thus we get to see von Stroheim, very late in his career (he looks unwell), playing multiple roles -- sometimes within the same scene. We're treated to the remarkable sight of the egomaniacal von Stroheim playing against himself and probably trying to upstage himself, too! For von Stroheim aficionados, it's great fun.

The von Stroheim episode is available in its entirety on Kino's wonderful DVD of von Stroheim's own aborted project, "Queen Kelly." It's a nice extra, and it gives us a rare late performance from the one-of-a-kind von Stroheim. (It also lets you avoid wasting your time watching this mediocre movie.)


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