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Night Train to Munich Movie Review

charters wayne british radford

The essence of the very British Night Train to Munich is captured in the comic performances of Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne, reprising their roles in The Lady Vanishes as Charters and Caldicott. Working with a tight script by Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat, Carol Reed skillfully reveals how ordinary people react to war. Faced with an international crisis, Charters tries to call Berlin to retrieve the golf clubs he loaned to a friend. Charters and Caldicott then find themselves caught up in a world of spies, which they resist at first. It is not until they are insulted by a Gestapo officer that the realities of war penetrate their consciousness and they make an effort to help their old school chum, played by Rex Harrison. Radford and Wayne were to brighten 10 British films together during their dozen years as a team, satirizing the old school boys who never grew up. Obsessed with cricket and other sports, touchingly convinced that everyone in the world knows that British is best, innately decent, terrified of women and forthright action, Charters and Caldicott were enormously appealing representatives of a type that vanished when the British empire shriveled. Oh, yes, there IS an all-star cast in this one, headed by Margaret Lockwood and Paul Henreid, plus plenty of political tension AND sexual tension, but to character actor devotees, Charters and Caldicott are practically the whole story. You can see Radford and Wayne at their best in this fast-paced 1940 thriller. Recommended for further viewing: 1945's Dead of Night, 1946's A Girl in a Million, and 1949's Passport to Pimlico. AKA: Night Train; Gestapo.

1940 93m/B GB Margaret Lockwood, Rex Harrison, Paul Henreid, Basil Radford, Naunton Wayne, James Harcourt, Felix Aylmer, Roland Culver, Raymond Huntley, Austin Trevor, Keneth Kent, C.V. France, Frederick Valk, Morland Graham, Wally Patch, Irene Handl, Albert Lieven, David Horne; D: Carol Reed; W: Frank Launder, Sidney Gilliat; C: Otto Kanturek. VHS

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