52 user 86 critic

Night Train to Lisbon (2013)

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Raimund Gregorius, a Swiss Professor, abandons his lectures and buttoned-down life to embark on a thrilling adventure that will take him on a journey to the very heart of himself.


Bille August


Greg Latter (screenplay), Ulrich Herrmann (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Irons ... Raimund Gregorius
Mélanie Laurent ... Young Estefânia
Jack Huston ... Amadeu
Martina Gedeck ... Mariana
Tom Courtenay ... Older João Eça
August Diehl ... Young Jorge O'Kelly
Bruno Ganz ... Older Jorge O'Kelly
Lena Olin ... Older Estefânia
Marco D'Almeida Marco D'Almeida ... Young João
Beatriz Batarda ... Young Adriana
Christopher Lee ... Father Bartolomeu
Charlotte Rampling ... Older Adriana
Nicolau Breyner Nicolau Breyner ... Da Silva
Jane Thorne Jane Thorne ... Older Clotilde
Burghart Klaußner ... Judge Prado


About an aging Swiss professor of classical languages who, after a chance encounter with a Portuguese woman, quits his job and travels to Lisbon in the hope of discovering the fate of a certain author, a doctor and poet who fought against Portuguese dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Only when you are lost can you truly find yourself. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a scene of violence, and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »


English | Portuguese

Release Date:

6 December 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Comboio Noturno Para Lisboa See more »

Filming Locations:

Caxias, Portugal See more »


Box Office


€7,700,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,962,375, 13 September 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Lena Olin (older Estefania), Bruno Ganz (older Jorge O'Kelly), and Burghart Klaußner (Judge Prado) appeared in The Reader (2008), another movie about the remembrance of past events. See more »


When Raimund is on the Bern Train Station, he is thinking whether he goes on board or not. The train starts to move and the doors are still open, which nowadays it would be impossible in trains of that dimension for security reasons. Although the error was needed to give more tension to the scene, it is still a thing that would never occur nowadays. See more »


Older Estefania: Then I met Amadeu... A new light fell on everything. My whole life...
See more »


Referenced in Forushande (2016) See more »


Composer: Annette Focks
Portugese Guitar: Damiel Pircher
Sound Mixer: Tom Tautorat
Recording & Mix Studio: Emil Berlin Studios
See more »

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User Reviews

Layered and quietly moving look at the end of the dictatorship in Portugal 40 years ago
14 January 2015 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Night Train to Lisbon (2013)

A remarkable movie, with shades of magic and threads of a true national angst still resolving in contemporary Portugal. I just returned from a visit there and can sense some vestige of another era in the buildings, but not in the people. The era of dictatorship is no longer visible to the tourist.

But that is the meat of the movie, set after Salazar's long reign, and with the aftermath of memories and lost ones still mourned. But it's all told (based on a novel by a Swiss writer) as if in a dream, or in an individual's search through imprecise information and people who don't always talk about it the way you might expect. It's a series of small surprises, elegantly wrought.

So in all these ways it's a powerful movie. It's small and intimate, however, not an epic about this great turning point in Portuguese history. In a way it's appropriate, because I found the people there less exuberant and more contemplative than the Spaniards next door. There are always a million reasons for such things—climate, outside cultural influences, etc.—but it's so true that the movie is actually terribly honest. It reveals the truth, in little facets, and never complete.

The star certainly is Jeremy Irons, who plays the leading role with tenderness and quiet certitude. He's terrific, and perfect for this part. Also appearing is Charlotte Rampling who has a knack for small, odd, but critical roles in offbeat movies. The cast is wide, and in the many flashbacks the characters gradually intersect in different ways, revealing their personal connections to the political strife of the times.

Good stuff? Excellent stuff! I liked it more than I expected to. It's slow at times, and maybe (if you are not paying attention) a hair confusing, but give it a go if you are inclined at all. A serious, brooding but not depressing drama about, in the end, relationship. As all the best movies are.

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