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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'The Paris Express')

Directed by Harold French
UK 19
52

 

Mild-mannered bookkeeper Kees Popinga lives a mundane life and dreams about the places he can go on the trains that travel through his hometown of Groningen, Holland. But when a French police detective shows up at his firm to inspect the books, Popinga's unremarkable existence is instantly altered, and he soon finds himself on the way to Paris with a suitcase of cash, on the run from the law and entranced by a strange and beautiful woman.

Based on the 1938 novel by Georges Simenon--the author who created fictional sleuth Jules Maigret, and whose books like The Man on the Eiffel Tower and The Brothers Rico were also adapted for the big screen--The Man Who Watched Trains Go By casts beloved Warner Bros. character actor Claude Rains (Mr. Skeffington) as the meek Popinga. The supporting cast includes Herbert Lom, Marta Toren and Anouk Aimee… with appearances by such solid British veterans as Felix Aylmer, Marius Goring, Lucie Mannheim and Ferdy Mayne.

This taut and suspenseful classic, shot in Technicolor, also benefits from beautiful location shooting in both the Netherlands and "The City of Light."

Posters and Book Covers

Theatrical Release: December 1952

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Review: ClassicFlix - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

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Distribution ClassicFlix - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:20:13.250   
Video

1.37:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,574,962,224 bytes

Feature: 23,451,131,904 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1980 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1980 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit) 

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
ClassicFlix

 

1.37:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,574,962,224 bytes

Feature: 23,451,131,904 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

None


Blu-ray Release Date: May 29th, 2018
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ClassicFlix have put this little cracker of a UK crime thriller, The Man Who Watched Trains Go By, on Blu-ray. It is on a single-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate and looks quite strong with some, possible, misalignment in the latter 1/4 but nothing egregious. The Technicolor in 1080P has some vibrancy and the 1.37:1 framed image is damage-free and exports a pleasing HD image.

ClassicFlix use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel (24-bit) in the original English language. There are some effects - mostly train related - and a
uplifting score by Benjamin Frankel (notable for composing the music for the British version of Night and the City, plus some Noirish titles like Libel and Footprints in the Fog as well as The Iron Petticoat and The Importance of Being Earnest). It supports the film well in the lossless. There are optional English subtitles (see sample) on the region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc.

Unfortunately, ClassicFlix have given us no supplements. This is a true bare-bones release.

I quite liked this little British Noir gem - complete with a hapless, innocent, book-worm accountant thrust into illegality by chance and multiple manipulating Parisian femme fatales - delightfully a 20-years young Anouk Aimée among them. But the evolution of Kees Popinga (Claude Rains) in a Breaking Bad sense is the real appeal along with stalwart detective, and chess aficionado 'Lucas' played by Marius Goring. Extras would have augmented the
Blu-ray value although the film still deserves an audience, IMO.

Gary Tooze

 


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Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution ClassicFlix - Region 'A' - Blu-ray




 

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