The Sleeping Car Murders

The Sleeping Car Murders (French title: Compartiment tueurs) is a 1965 French mystery film directed by Costa-Gavras from the novel by Sébastien Japrisot. It stars Yves Montand, Simone Signoret, Michel Piccoli, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Catherine Allégret, Jacques Perrin, Charles Denner and Pascale Roberts.[1] This film was the first movie for Costa-Gavras, to be followed later by other, more politically-oriented work.

Compartiment tueurs
Directed byCosta-Gavras
Produced byJulien Derode
Screenplay byCosta Gavras
Based onThe Sleeping Car Murders by Sébastien Japrisot
StarringYves Montand
Simone Signoret
Catherine Allégret
Jacques Perrin
Michel Piccoli
Jean-Louis Trintignant
Music byMichel Magne
CinematographyJean Tournier
Edited byChristian Gaudin
Release date
Running time
95 min.
Box office$8.1 million


Six people travel by train overnight from Marseilles to Paris. When the train arrives at its destination, one of the passengers, a girl, is found dead in a sleeping berth. The police led by Inspector Grazzi investigate the other five passengers, suspecting that one of them was responsible. However, as the investigation is stepped up, the other passengers start turning up dead. It is then up to the last remaining two to solve the case, before they become the next victims.



The New York Times said Costa-Gavras "whips it up with a lot of camera trickery and an abundance of cinematic style" but added that "the plot gets so thick and calculated that it becomes temporarily congealed."[2] TV Guide called it "an intriguing, highly entertaining thriller" and praised "Costa-Gavras' taut direction" that "propels this somewhat impenetrable mystery along at breakneck speed."[3] Time Out said that "the ending is one of those ingenious absurdities that haunt the genre, but the lively pace and attention to detail make up for the implausibility."[4]


  1. "The Sleeping Car Murder". Retrieved 2013-07-16.
  2. Crowther, Bosley (1966-03-08). "Screen: 'The Sleeping Car Murder':Simone Signoret Stars With Her Daughter". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-09-06.
  3. "The Sleeping Car Murder | TV Guide". Retrieved 2019-09-06.
  4. "The Sleeping Car Murder 1965 Film review". Time Out London. Retrieved 2019-09-06.

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