Sleeping Car To Trieste (1948)

Talking Pictures again. A perfect terrific/crap movie, if you like that kind of thing.
A ‘stolen diary’ from a Parisian embassy is the pretext for high jinks in the manner of Graham Greene’s 1932 novel Stamboul Train (or there might be an earlier example).
It’s got EVERYONE in it, in terms of 2nd Division Brit talent.
David Tomlinson, already playing the twerp, as he still did 20 years later in Mary Poppins and Bedknobs And Broomsticks. His character obvs doesn’t speak French; he orders a glass of ‘ecossais’…
Derrick De Marney, the hero of Hitchcock’s Young And Innocent (1937) – looks good but a deeply limited actor…
Bonar Colleano – playing a GI again…
Finlay Currie – the rich industrialist, in hornrims…
Hugh Burden – of One Of Our Aircraft Is Missing (1942)…
Jean Kent – so sexy as the ‘bad girl’ of 40s British cinema in films like Caravan (1946), so hopeless with a Middle European ‘accent’, clothed, with gaudy hats…
Eugene Deckers – from North West Frontier (1959)…
Zena Marshall, from Dr No (1962)
And best of the lot, as a dodgy geezer, Alan Wheatley – Fred Hale in the same year’s Brighton Rock, and later the first actor to be killed by a Dalek in Dr Who.
The writer, Allan MacKinnon, wrote 27 movies, none of the others of which I’ve seen.
The director, John Paddy Carstairs (real name: Nelson Keys, but he changed it in order not to be confused with his actor father) later specialised in Norman Wisdom movies!
In a word: wow!


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I had a stroke on July 26th, 2013. I was a screenwriter. Don’t do that anymore. But have found another way to write.

One thought on “Sleeping Car To Trieste (1948)”

  1. Sounds like a masterpiece! Thanks for shining a light on these forgotten British films from the past. The title alone makes me want to see it, never mind the “terrrific/crap” description!


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