Berlin Express (1948) - Rotten Tomatoes

Berlin Express1948

Berlin Express (1948)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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.

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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
Tom Keene
as Major
Jim Nolan
as Train Captain
Arthur Dulac
as Steward
Charles McGraw
as Col. Johns
David Clarke
as Army Technician
James Craven
as British Major (uncredited)
Gene Evans
as Train Sergeant
Roger Creed
as MP (uncredited)
Fred Datig Jr.
as American Jeep Driver (uncredited)
Norbert Schiller
as Saxophone Player
Richard Flato
as Master of Ceremonies
Allan Ray
as Corporal
Jim Drum
as 2nd G.I.
William Yetter Jr.
as 1st German Youth
Robert Boon
as 2nd German Youth
Rory Mallinson
as M.P. Gaurd
Fernanda Eliscu
as German Woman
Larry Nunn
as 1st G.I.
Frank Alten
as German Steward
Leonid Snegoff
as Russian Colonel
William Stelling
as American Sergeant
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Critic Reviews for Berlin Express

All Critics (4)

A magnificent film,.... and a clear example of what American Cinema was able to offer in those years. [Full Review in Spanish]

February 13, 2020 | Full Review…

Fascinating thriller, and anti-war classic.

August 9, 2007 | Full Review…

An ideological spy thriller.

October 16, 2004 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Berlin Express


The first half of the film is terribly uneven with the worst mono tone narration put to the screen. The narration describes what is being said on the screen instead of allowing the story to be told with subtitles.

Brendan O'Connor
Brendan O'Connor

Super Reviewer

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

I have not seen too many 1948 movies. Most interesting thing about this movie is that it seems they used actual footage of bombed out Frankfurt and Berlin as backdrops to the movie. The movie is quite idealistic - five people from five different countries try to rescue a German peacemaker just after WWII.

Red Lats
Red Lats

Super Reviewer

Berlin Express Quotes

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