523 Night Train to Munich

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Matt
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm

523 Night Train to Munich

#1 Post by Matt » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:06 pm

Night Train to Munich

Image [img]http://criterion_production.s3.amazonaws.com/release_images/2728/523_box_348x490_w128.jpg[/img]

Night Train to Munich, from writers Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat and director Carol Reed, is a twisting, turning, cloak-and-dagger delight. Paced like an out-of-control locomotive, this gripping, occasionally comic confection takes viewers on a World War II–era journey from Prague to England to the Swiss Alps, as Nazis pursue a Czech scientist and his daughter (Margaret Lockwood), who are being aided by a debonair British undercover agent, played by Rex Harrison. This captivating adventure—which also features Casablanca's Paul Henreid—mixes comedy, romance, and thrills with enough skill and cleverness to give the Master of Suspense himself pause.

SPECIAL FEATURES

• Restored high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
• Conversation from 2010 between film scholars Peter Evans and Bruce Babington about director Carol Reed, screenwriters Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat, and the social and political climate in which Night Train to Munich was made
• PLUS: An essay by film critic Philip Kemp

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swo17
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Re: 523 Night Train to Munich

#2 Post by swo17 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:10 pm

So do ianungstad and Jeff win free copies?

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mfunk9786
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Re: 523 Night Train to Munich

#3 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:36 pm

Well, not much in the way of bonus features. You'd think there would have been a commentary track or something to flesh it out. It seems like British films from this era really have a lack of material to work with re: bonus features.

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Matt
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Re: 523 Night Train to Munich

#4 Post by Matt » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:42 pm

Maybe they think more people will take a chance on an unknown film at the lower price point. And we don't know how long this "video conversation" is. They often have generous running times.

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triodelover
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Re: 523 Night Train to Munich

#5 Post by triodelover » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:45 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:Well, not much in the way of bonus features. You'd think there would have been a commentary track or something to flesh it out. It seems like British films from this era really have a lack of material to work with re: bonus features.

What they could do is continue in the same vein as The Lady Vanishes. There they included the third feature film featuring Basil Radford's Charters and Naughton Wayne's Caldicott, Crook's Tour. They could round that out here by including Millions Like Us, the last Charters and Calidicott feature before the contract hassles forced Radford and Wayne to continue the same characters under various pseudonyms. Millions Like Us was directed by Launder and Gilliat, so there's that symmetry, too.

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Finch
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Re: 523 Night Train to Munich

#6 Post by Finch » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:50 pm

Bit short on extra features (this will hopefully be reflected in the RRP) but what's there sounds good enough to me. A blind buy for me.

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Tom Hagen
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Re: 523 Night Train to Munich

#7 Post by Tom Hagen » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:58 pm

Matt wrote:Maybe they think more people will take a chance on an unknown film at the lower price point.
See, e.g. Coyle, Eddie: The Friends of

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starmanof51
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Re: 523 Night Train to Munich

#8 Post by starmanof51 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:11 pm

It's been an awfully long time since I've seen it, but I was disappointed at the time. Narratively it's a different animal, but in so many other respects it invites comparison to The Lady Vanishes (duh), and it just didn't hold a candle, at least as I remember it. Charters and Caldicott are more than welcome characters, and there are some nice set pieces, but overall I was left with that "meh" feeling.

That said, the people involved probably make it deserving of a second viewing under better (not VHS!) viewing conditions. I won't be too surprised if I end up positively revising my opinion. Putting Lady Vanishes out of my head and thinking, if anything, in context of other WW2 propaganda thrillers might be a good move.

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Svevan
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Re: 523 Night Train to Munich

#9 Post by Svevan » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:26 am

Soliciting any other thoughts on the film (thanks of course Starman!). This seems like an era-subject-director-cast combo that I should love.

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Matango
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Re: 523 Night Train to Munich

#10 Post by Matango » Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:11 am

More Caldicott and Charters can only be a good thing, what? I'll blind-buy this just because they're in it, don'tcha know.

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triodelover
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Re: 523 Night Train to Munich

#11 Post by triodelover » Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:59 am

Matango wrote:More Caldicott and Charters can only be a good thing, what? I'll blind-buy this just because they're in it, don'tcha know.
Plus you get the scrumptious Margaret Lockwood as a side...ahem, "dish".

Haggai
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Re: 523 Night Train to Munich

#12 Post by Haggai » Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:03 am

starmanof51 wrote:It's been an awfully long time since I've seen it, but I was disappointed at the time. Narratively it's a different animal, but in so many other respects it invites comparison to The Lady Vanishes (duh), and it just didn't hold a candle, at least as I remember it. Charters and Caldicott are more than welcome characters, and there are some nice set pieces, but overall I was left with that "meh" feeling.
I saw Night Train at a screening a couple of years ago, and while I don't think it's quite the equal of Lady Vanishes, I still loved it. It's brisk and entertaining, with fun and likeable performances from Harrison and Lockwood.

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zedz
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Re: 523 Night Train to Munich

#13 Post by zedz » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:19 pm

It's pretty much an unofficial sequel to The Lady Vanishes, striving to hit the same tone and reproduce several of its major beats, hoping lightning will strike twice. It's not as good as the original, but what is? Reed's no slouch, and aping Hitchcock is a very useful rite of passage for a lot of directors, so there's plenty to enjoy here.

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Re: 523 Night Train to Munich

#14 Post by HugoDeVries » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:39 pm

So pleased this is getting a release it’s a great little film, luckily it gets a semi regular screening on good old UK TV, the perfect complement to the excellent Lady Vanishes dvd.

Pity the extras aren’t a bit more meaty, would have loved the inclusion of Millions Like Us to complete the Charters and Caldicott collection on Criterion but mustn’t grumble this and Red Desert have been the most exciting Criterion announcements in a while and the packaging is SUPERB.

Does anyone know who’s done the Munich packaging art?

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swo17
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Re: 523 Night Train to Munich

#15 Post by swo17 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:33 pm

Eric Skillman. He actually gave us all a sneak peak of it last month on his blog.

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tavernier
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Re: 523 Night Train to Munich

#16 Post by tavernier » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:11 pm

Matt wrote:Maybe they think more people will take a chance on an unknown film at the lower price point. And we don't know how long this "video conversation" is. They often have generous running times.
The "video conversation" is 29 minutes.

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Cash Flagg
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Re: 523 Night Train to Munich

#17 Post by Cash Flagg » Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:54 pm


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MichaelB
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Re: 523 Night Train to Munich

#18 Post by MichaelB » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:55 am

tavernier wrote:
Matt wrote:Maybe they think more people will take a chance on an unknown film at the lower price point. And we don't know how long this "video conversation" is. They often have generous running times.
The "video conversation" is 29 minutes.
My understanding from one of the participants (Peter William Evans used to be married to my aunt, so I've known him all my life) is that it was originally commissioned as a commentary, but there simply wasn't enough background material available to suit a scene-specific approach without resorting to lots of unnecessary padding. So it sounds to me as though this is a sensible compromise.

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John Hodson
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Re: 523 Night Train to Munich

#19 Post by John Hodson » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:36 pm

I expect this forum is sick to death over folks moaning over picture-boxing, so I won't.

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solaris72
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Re: 523 Night Train to Munich

#20 Post by solaris72 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:58 am

Am I the only one who keeps thinking of this whenever I see this title?

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matrixschmatrix
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 11:26 pm

Re: 523 Night Train to Munich

#21 Post by matrixschmatrix » Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:39 am

solaris72 wrote:Am I the only one who keeps thinking of this whenever I see this title?
Hahaha, no, I was thinking the same thing.

Although the packaging (especially the interiors) suggests this more than I would have expected.

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cdnchris
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Re: 523 Night Train to Munich

#22 Post by cdnchris » Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:20 am


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Matt
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Re: 523 Night Train to Munich

#23 Post by Matt » Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:33 pm

Mildly diverting, but I can't imagine Criterion would have gone anywhere near the film if Carol Reed's name were not attached to it. Of all the Fox films to license...

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Cold Bishop
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Re: 523 Night Train to Munich

#24 Post by Cold Bishop » Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:40 pm

^I'd give it a little more credit, but I'll have to agree. The Man Between on the other hand...

Does Warner still own the rights to The Man Between? I know there's a Kinowelt out there, but if Criterion were to release the film, and add the CD soundtrack as a bonus, I'd scoop it up in a second.
Last edited by Cold Bishop on Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Matt
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Re: 523 Night Train to Munich

#25 Post by Matt » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:06 pm

I don't know what the status is of The Man Between in the US, but it's a Studio Canal title in Europe and the UK, so that may have something to do with there being no US DVD. Same with Odd Man Out.

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