Berlin Express (1948)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Berlin Express Videos

Berlin Express Photos

Movie Info

On a trip from France to Allied-occupied Berlin, a group of travelers -- a mysterious and very secretive European woman (Merle Oberon), an American agricultural expert (Robert Ryan), a British educator (Robert Coote), a Soviet Army officer (Roman Toporow), and a French official (Charles Korvin) -- all cross paths in the cramped quarters of a military train. They discover that the notion of the "Allied forces" is breaking down amid their victory in the war; they neither like nor trust each other, nor each other's countries, except where the Germans are concerned, where they share a distrust. And then they cross paths with a German VIP who makes them wonder if they've got all of the Germans pegged right. A bomb goes off, killing their newfound acquaintance, and the suspicions start anew. The mystery surrounding the victim only deepens when they discover that he wasn't who he claimed to be -- and that the army isn't saying who he was. Ryan, Oberon, et al. soon find themselves up to their necks in unrepentant Nazis and militant German nationalists who have banded together against the occupiers to destroy any chance of success for a peace plan being put forward by a visionary German (Paul Lukas). They find Frankfurt a hotbed of sabotage and armed underground resistance, with the occupying armies seemingly caught flat-footed by the plotting in their midst, which includes murder and blackmail. Berlin Express is a spellbinding mix of action, suspense, and topical political intrigue, laced with idealism and a surprising degree of sophistication, a level a wit almost worthy of Graham Greene, and an eye for suspense worthy of Hitchcock. Indeed, the film could almost be considered director Jacques Tourneur's postwar equivalent to Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent (1940). It also represents a fascinating cultural snapshot, depicting the very last moments of hope for peaceful relations with the Soviets that could be seen in American movies for decades.
Action & Adventure , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
RKO Radio Pictures Inc.

Watch it now


Paul Lukas
as Dr. Bernhardt
Merle Oberon
as Lucienne
Robert Ryan
as Robert Lindley
Robert Coote
as Sterling
Roman Toporow
as Lt. Maxim
Peter von Zerneck
as Hans Schmidt
Otto Waldis
as Kessler
Fritz Kortner
as Franzen
Tom Keene
as Major
Jim Nolan
as Train Captain
Arthur Dulac
as Steward
Ray Spiker
as Husky
Charles McGraw
as Col. Johns
David Clarke
as Army Technician
James Craven
as British Major (uncredited)
Roger Creed
as MP (uncredited)
Gene Evans
as Train Sergeant
Fred Datig Jr.
as American Jeep Driver (uncredited)
Norbert Schiller
as Saxophone Player
Richard Flato
as Master of Ceremonies
Allan Ray
as Corporal
George Holt
as German
Bill Raisch
as German
Carl Ekberg
as German
Jim Drum
as 2nd G.I.
Robert Boon
as 2nd German Youth
Rory Mallinson
as M.P. Gaurd
Fernanda Eliscu
as German Woman
Larry Nunn
as 1st G.I.
Hans Moebus
as Clerk
Frank Alten
as German Steward
Leonid Snegoff
as Russian Colonel
William Stelling
as American Sergeant
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Berlin Express

All Critics (3)

Fascinating thriller, and anti-war classic.

Full Review… | August 9, 2007
Classic Film and Television

An ideological spy thriller.

Full Review… | October 16, 2004
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Quote not available.

August 1, 2005

Audience Reviews for Berlin Express

good and moody as a group looks for a professor taken by the nazis. another train movie like the shanghi express or murder on the orient express.

Gregory Wood
Gregory Wood

That stupid and completely un-cinematic voice over kills the entire first half of an otherwise stunning looking thriller by a master filmmaker who loved shadows and camera angles.

Pierluigi Puccini
Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer

Kind of a cross between The Third Man and The Narrow Margin. A political thriller set against the backdrop of occupied Germany. Tourneur's direction guarantees some wonderful scenes, especially the brewery and the bit of business with the window during the climax. And there's some fascinating location footage of war-torn Frankfurt and Berlin (although it's often rear-projected, and poorly, behind the actors). However, it's all dressed up in a lot of hokey sentiment calling for international unity, topped off with heaps of very corny narration. Worth a look for the fine photography, thriller elements, and some light banter between the leads.

Martin Teller
Martin Teller

Berlin Express Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Berlin Express on our Movie forum!

News & Features