Night Train to Munich 1940


20th Century Fox

A dramatic eve-of-war-in-Europe movie starring Margaret Lockwood (Anna Bomasch) and Rex Harrison (Gus Bennett) with Paul Henreid (Karl Marsen) in a supporting role. Most of the train scenes are studio mock-ups with a couple models used for good measure.

Famous scientist Axel Bomasch (played by James Harcourt) is close to perfecting his “G.K. armor-plating” formula. With the Krauts closing in, he escapes to England, but his daughter is captured.


A nifty model railcar-mounted cannon comes rolling along through the “Harska Akt Spolec Na Brame” factory in pre-WW2 Czechoslovakia.


Anna and Karl get stuck in a concentration camp. Karl somehow springs them both, and they make their way to England to join her father. It seems too good to be true; Rex Harrison (of My Fair Lady fame) tries to warn Anna off of Karl, but to no avail.

Long story short, Karl is actually a Gestapo turncoat who hauls Herr Bomasch and his lovely daughter back to Nazi Germany.


Paul Henreid (boo! hiss!) will be their escort on the night train from Berlin to Munich.


Sharing a compartment on the same train are Caldicott (Naunton Wayne) and Charters (Basil Radford), who is finally sitting down to read Herr Schicklgruber’s biography. Dig those frilly lace headrests with the DR (Deutsche Reichsbahn) initials.


Posing as a high-ranking naval officer (and a former intimate companion of Anna) Rex explains to Paul how his charms will win Anna over to the German cause; Onboard the train, Rex whispers the skinny to Anna.


It’s a swell model train (complete with smoke) dashing into a tunnel — which represents our only “run-by” scene. Most of this picture’s action takes place onboard the train.


The night train unloads all passengers at a remote depot so that German troops can board instead.


Comic relief is provided by the officious female Station Master (Irene Handl) who delights in ordering Charters and Caldicott around. The sign on the car reads, “Wagon 1, Berlin Potsd BHF, Halle – Lichtensfels, Nurnberg, Munchen-West”.


“A dozen kreplach, please…” Kaffeeklatsch! Paul orders up some tea and biscuits for the compartment. Whilst Charters distracts the porter, Caldicott slips a note to Rex under a biscuit.


After reading this note, Rex heads to the john where Charters and Caldicott give him the low down; but Paul is on to them and strikes his best Nazi, Luger-toting pose.


What’s this? Rex Harrison, now wearing Paul Henreid’s black uniform escorts Anna, Herr Bomasch, and of course, Charters and Caldicott off the train at Munich; “Well, it was pitch dark, and there he was….” A somewhat chastened Paul Henreid explains how he lost his pants along with giving a description of his assailants….giving them a big head start to the border.


Look! Over there! It’s Switzerland!; Rex Harrison hangs onto the cable car dodging bullets from Paul Henreid and his henchmen.

Will they make it to safety? Will the Krauts wind up with the formula? Could they have used even cheesier special effects? Sit down for an enjoyable evening’s viewing of Night Train to Munich and find out!

Here’s what IMDb has to say about Night Train to Munich:

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About Lindsay Korst

Webmaster, Blogmaster, Ferroequinologist - Lindsay Korst works for a nationwide home improvement center after a 20+ year career supporting computer users. A resident of the Seattle area since 1976, he has had a life-long interest in railroads, particularly those in the Pacific Northwest. He is an enthusiastic participant in the Great Northern Railway Historical Society. He and his wife reside in Redmond, Washington.
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2 Responses to Night Train to Munich 1940

  1. The “frilly headrests” are called antimacassars. “Anti” as in “against” and “macasser,” a popular hair oil when men liked the slicked-back look. I think Amtrak still uses paper-based ones, as a defense against ever having to actually clean the seats.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Actually, only one third of the film is set aboard a train.


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