Movie Review: Night Train to Munich (1940)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1940 movie starring Margaret Lockwood and Rex Harrison.

Synopsis: A Czechoslovakian scientist and his daughter are taken prisoner by German Nazis seeking to steal his formula for a new armor plating. Their only hope is British secret agent Dickie Randall, who has traveled to Germany dressed as a Nazi officer in an effort to escort the two of them to neutral Switzerland.


I tried to watch this movie a few weeks ago but only managed to watch 5 minutes of it before I was interrupted. So, since my wife had to work last night and I had some time to do so while waiting up for her, I decided to try to watch this film again. I succeeded but, after finally seeing it, my overall opinion of it is, admittedly, mixed.

As far as the overall plot goes, I thought the movie was exceptional. Randall's (Harrison) escape plan was much more complex than I was expecting and, because he had to pretend both to be a Nazi sympathizer and, at the same time, pretend to be recruiting the daughter (Lockwood), there were times when it was difficult to fully trust him or, at minimum, fully understand why the daughter didn't trust him.

I also thought the twist on the train, involving two British citizens recognizing Randall and nearly blowing his escape plan, was an interesting one. If nothing else, it kept the movie from becoming too predictable.

I think my biggest complaint about this movie was the lack of action. This is likely just because I've been spoiled by James Bond movies but, considering this was a movie about a British secret agent entering Nazi Germany, I honestly expected, at very least, to see much more gunfire exchanged. And, while I couldn't, in good conscience, describe this movie as boring, I was pretty disappointed it wasn't just a little more exciting.

I also wasn't overly impressed with the Nazi bad guys in this movie, mostly because they were a little too easy to fool. Granted, based on when this movie was made, I wasn't really expecting the filmmakers to portray the Nazis as geniuses. But, it would have been nice to have seen at least a little more skepticism from them, giving Randall more of a challenge.

Final Opinion

As I mentioned, it's not a James Bond movie and doesn't have a ton of action in it. But, overall, it is a pretty decent war/spy movie and I would recommend taking the time to watch it at least once.

My Grade: B

More By This Writer

Angels Don't Always Have Wings

Steve never thought of himself as an overly religious person and had rarely set foot inside of a church. However, after agreeing to attend a service following a visit to a churc...

View on Amazon

Love Poems for My Wife

When Steve first met Cynthia back in 2000, he knew she was the woman for him and proposed to her just three months after their first date. Married to her since 2003, he has ofte...

View on Amazon

Updated: 11/19/2015, StevenHelmer
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


Only logged-in users are allowed to comment. Login
DerdriuMarriner on 04/01/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for product lines, pretty pictures and practical information.
The library system here does have Night Train to Munich catalogued among its Blu-Ray and DVD collections. So I expect to be seeing the film sometime soon, after Lent ends.

A film, with Rex Harrison or Richard Harris, had the former or the latter say among its conversations that everyone underestimates the English. Perhaps that's a realistic reason for why Germans might have been fooled by Harrison's character.

What kind of action would have bolstered this film enough to make it worthy of A ratings?

You might also like

Movie Review: House on Telegraph Hill (1951)

A review of the 1951 film noir movie starring Richard Basehart and Valentina...

Movie Review: The Enemy Below (1957)

A review of the 1957 war movie starring Robert Mitchum and Curd Jurgens.

Movie Review: The Dirty Dozen (1967)

A review of the 1967 war film starring Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson

Disclosure: This page generates income for authors based on affiliate relationships with our partners, including Amazon, Google and others.
Loading ...