Night Train (2009 film)

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Night Train
Directed by Brian King
Produced by Christopher Eberts
Brian R. Etting
Steve Markoff
Bruce McNall
Wendy Park
Michael Philip
Arnold Rifkin
Jo Marr
Written by Brian King
Starring Danny Glover
Leelee Sobieski
Steve Zahn
Matthias Schweighöfer
Geoff Bell
Constantine Gregory
Cinematography Christopher Popp
Edited by Patrick Wilfert
Release dates
  • July 7, 2009 (2009-07-07)
Running time 83 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Night Train is a 2009 mystery-thriller film produced by Rifkin-Eberts Productions and stars Danny Glover, Leelee Sobieski, Steve Zahn, and Matthias Schweighöfer. It pays homage to a variety of classic suspense films such as Strangers on a Train, The Lady Vanishes, and The Maltese Falcon, though the plot bears only passing resemblance to any of them. The film did not appear in theaters and was released on DVD for US markets in July 2009.


Two passengers (Sobieski and Zahn) and the conductor (Glover) discover that a person died in their night train cabin after taking an overdose. They come across "valuable jewels" in a small box which the man had brought with him and decide to keep it for themselves. Their plan begins to fall apart as they become suspicious of each other as well as outside forces.

As opening credits roll, we see a backlit man running through a forest apparently carrying something. A nearly deserted train pulls into a station and two conductors get out, take a stretch, and kill time as no one seems to board. Just as the train is about to depart, the man we saw during the credits calls out, runs to the train and seems to want to board. He does not speak and, thinking that perhaps he does not know English, the conductors let him on with the intention of getting his money later. He joins 2 of the only 5 passengers who seem to be on the train at that point. One of the passengers (Steve Zahn), an inebriated salesman offers the man a drink. Downing a mouthful of pills for the second time in the few moments since we've met him, the man washes them down with the vodka.

Soon after the man dies of an apparent overdose.

Upon this discovery, the two passengers (Zahn and Leelee Sobieski) fetch the head conductor (Danny Glover) and alert him to what has happened. Glover intends to call the authorities at the next stop. But Zahn discovers a mysterious object in the box the dead man was carrying it and, peering inside, seems to see his heart's desire. Taking her "bite of the apple" Sobieski looks inside the object and both immediately become convinced that there is a liberating fortune (Zahn suggests it contains emeralds and no one rebuts him) in there...and both begin to think of ways to keep it. They suggest the idea to Glover, who tells them they're crazy, and takes the object and the box it was traveling in back to his office...purportedly to keep it safe and call the authorities. But he too peers inside and his will is overcome.

The three (with a crazed Sobieski taking the lead) decide to dispose of the man's body and keep the treasure for themselves. Their only problems now are keeping anyone else from knowing, warding off the other two suspicious passengers (and the other conductor) and keeping a close eye on one another, as paranoia takes hold and the box's broadly hinted at evil influence continues to do its work. Richard O'Brien (Riff Raff from The Rocky Horror Picture Show) makes an appearance as Mrs. Froy, the titular character in Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes.

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