Berlin Express (1948)

By Buster Crabbe | Classic Film Reviews | 14 Sep 2020

Starring: Robert Ryan, Merle Oberon, Paul Lukas

Director: Jacques Tourneur (France)

Genre: Mystery, Drama 

Availability: Movies! TV Network 


Watch Quality   A

The audio and video are very high quality, but you have to deal with commercials.


Plot Summary 

In postwar Germany, an international group of travelers accidentally witness a murder.  As they become entangled in a dangerous rescue mission, they must confront their own biases. 


Star Power   C+

Robert Ryan, known for playing villains in Western and Noir film like Crossfire (1947), got an opportunity as a leading man.  The rest of the cast is competent, though not brilliant. 


Chill Factor   F

Tourneur's gritty political film does many things well, but sexy isn't one of them.  The movie is better suited for a political science class or a history lesson than a date night. 


Mental Health Check   D

Framed by the bombed-out cityscapes of Frankfurt and Berlin, this movie peers unflinchingly at the destruction and indignity left behind after World War II, and the suspicion that remained between the Allies.


Overall Grade   B

The atmosphere and heartwrenching human drama are truly remarkable, even though the narration and political commentary lack subtlety.  The characters are less important than what they represent: the jaded realities of life under occupation and the faint glimmer of hope in humanity.

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Buster Crabbe
Buster Crabbe

As a classic film enthusiast, I'm here to bring you all the content you've been waiting for since the 1920s. My favorites are 1950s science fiction, 1940s horror, and 1930s comedies. Old-time cinema lives on!

Classic Film Reviews
Classic Film Reviews

Join me in my love of classic cinema, focusing on the 1930s through 1960s.

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