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USA 1948


"Berlin Express (1948) is really two movies - one in the background, the other in the foreground," proclaimed a May 3, 1948 Timemagazine review. The movie in the foreground is a fairly typical Hollywood plot about Nazis and a kidnapped international leader. It stars Robert Ryan as an American officer who's teamed up with a Brit (played by Robert Coote), a Russian Lieutenant (Roman Toporow) and a French secretary (Merle Oberon) to rescue peace movement champion Paul Lukas from the Nazis. The second movie serves primarily as a backdrop, but stands more importantly as a historical document. Interspersed in the post-war intrigue, is actual post-war footage of Berlin and Frankfurt, making Berlin Express the first Hollywood production allowed into Germany after the war. And Lucien Ballard's stark cinematography of urban ruin is often as fascinating as the story it supports.

The idea for Berlin Express came from a Life article about an army train moving through the Russian Sector of the city. Producer Bert Granet worked with writers Curt Siodmak and Harold Medford to develop the story. On the surface a simple rescue yarn, the movie also serves as an allegory for Allied cooperation. The choice of the characters' nationalities is obviously symbolic. Each player represents one arm of the Allied forces. The Big Four, whose combined efforts won the war, must work together in this movie to free Paul Lukas and thus further the peace process.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE


Theatrical Release: 1 May 1948 (USA)


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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:26:31

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.8 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

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


Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: September, 2009

Chapters 9





Warner Archive disc has a very strong transfer with limited damage on the print. Contrast is better than I anticipated and the audio is quite acceptable as well. Detail is surprisingly good.

Unfortunately, as for all Archive discs, there is no closed captioning or subtitles. Presently, we don't have French or Spanish release to compare to those releases.

 - Gregory Meshman


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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC



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