Sleeping Car to Trieste

Sleeping Car to Trieste is a 1948 British film directed by John Paddy Carstairs. It is a remake of the 1932 film Rome Express.

Sleeping Car to Trieste
Directed byJohn Paddy Carstairs
Produced byGeorge H. Brown
Written byAllan MacKinnon
Based onstory by Clifford Grey
StarringJean Kent
Albert Lieven
Derrick De Marney
Paul Dupuis
Rona Anderson
David Tomlinson
Music byBenjamin Frankel
CinematographyJack Hildyard
Edited bySidney Stone
Production
company
Distributed byGeneral Film Distributors
Eagle-Lion Classics (USA)
J. Arthur Rank Film (UK)
Release date
  • 6 October 1948 (1948-10-06)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish

Plot

The setting is almost entirely on a train travelling between Paris and Trieste after World War II. Two rather mysterious people, Zurta (Albert Lieven) and Valya (Jean Kent), are at ease in sophisticated society. Zurta steals a diary from the safe of an embassy in Paris while they are guests at a reception there, killing a servant who walks in on the robbery. Poole, an accomplice, is passed the diary, but he double-crosses them and attempts to escape with it on the Orient Express. Just in time, Valya and Zurta board the train.

They start looking for Poole, who seeks to conceal himself and the diary. Other travellers become involved, including a US Army sergeant with an eye for the ladies, an adulterous couple, an idiot stockbroker, a wealthy, autocratic writer and his brow-beaten secretary, an ornithologist, and a French police inspector. Staff and other passengers provide light-hearted scenes. The diary passes through the hands of several people while the police investigate a mysterious death.

Cast

Production

The film was originally known as Sleeping Car to Vienna.[1]

Rona Anderson made her film debut.[2] "I did enjoy doing it", said Anderson. "It was a film full of nice little cameo performances.... Paddy Carstairs had a good way of relaxing you and I think he had a very good way with actors generally."[3]

It was the one movie Albert Lieven made while under contract to Rank for five years.[4]

However Jean Kent later stated she "didn't like" the film "and didn't get on very well" with Carstairs. "You never knew where you were with him... I don't remember enjoying it. I had silly clothes. I wanted to be very French in plain black and a little beret but I had to wear these silly New Look clothes. I was playing a superspy of some kind. But who was I spying for?"[5]

Release

The film proved more popular in the US than most British films, enjoying a long run in New York.[6]

The New York Times wrote, "not without its trying moments, but on the whole it is a mighty interesting ride...The director John Paddy Carstairs shrewdly maneuvers the pursuers and the hunted about the train in a natural and credible manner so that the possibility of an imminent meeting creates a good deal of tension...None of the principals is too familiar to audiences here, and at times dialogue is lost in some of the players' throats, but the performances are generally satisfying."[7]

References

  1. "Lockwood happy in new role". The Sun (2359). New South Wales, Australia. 27 June 1948. p. 31 (STUMPS). Retrieved 28 September 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  2. "Film Stars in Britain". Western Mail. Perth. 22 July 1948. p. 15. Retrieved 20 April 2014 via National Library of Australia.
  3. Brian McFarlane, An Autobiography of British Cinema by the Actors and Filmmakers Who Made It, Methuen 1997 p 17
  4. "IDLE STAR GETS ROLE AT LAST". The Sun (2491). Sydney. 14 January 1951. p. 38. Retrieved 28 September 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  5. Brian McFarlane, An Autobiography of British Cinema by the Actors and Filmmakers Who Made It, Methuen 1997 p 340
  6. "Mary Armitages: FILM CLOSE-UPS". The Mail. Adelaide. 27 August 1949. p. 2 Supplement: SUPPLEMENT TO "THE MAIL.". Retrieved 20 April 2014 via National Library of Australia.
  7. https://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9806E1D6103EE03BBC4052DFB2668382659EDE
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