The Man Who Watched Trains Go By

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The Man Who Watched Trains Go By
The-Man-Who-Watched-the-Trains-Go-By 79713fdd.jpg
The Man Who Watched Trains Go By poster (U.S. title The Paris Express)
Directed by Harold French
Produced by Josef Shaftel
Raymond Stross
David Berman (associate producer)
Screenplay by Harold French
Paul Jarrico (originally uncredited)
Based on novel L'Homme qui regardait passer les trains by Georges Simenon[1]
Starring Claude Rains
Marius Goring
Märta Torén
Music by Benjamin Frankel
Cinematography Otto Heller
Edited by Vera Campbell
Arthur H. Nadel
Raymond Stross Productions
Josef Shaftel Productions Inc.
Distributed by Eros Films (UK)
MacDonald Pictures (USA)
Release date
  • December 1952 (1952-12) (London, UK)
Running time
82 minutes
Country United Kingdom / United States
Language English

The Man Who Watched Trains Go By (1952) is a crime drama film, based on the 1938 novel by Georges Simenon and released in the United Kingdom with an all-European cast, including Claude Rains in the lead role of Kees Popinga, who is infatuated with Michele Rozier (Märta Torén).[2] The film was released in the United States in 1953 under the title The Paris Express.[3] It was directed by Harold French. This was Rains' seventh film in color, his first being Gold Is Where You Find It (1938).


A Dutch company's owner bankrupts his own company, then burns the incriminating ledgers and plans to run to Paris with the company payroll. But he is caught in the act by his accountant who challenges his actions, leading to a reversal of roles.


Critical reception[edit]

TV Guide wrote that the film "boasts good performances from Rains, Toren, and Lom, but is hampered by the static direction of Harold French";[4] whereas Culture Catch called it a "solid adaptation," which "embraces Simenon's favorite archetype, an innocent who mistakenly thinks he has committed some evil act, and then eventually actually does...Directed by Harold French, a British stalwart, this little thriller is worth every one of the 82 minutes you'll spend with it."[5]


External links[edit]