7.3/10
1,331
11 user 13 critic

Compartiment tueurs (1965)

Six people travel in a railroad sleeping car from Marseilles to Paris. Upon their arrival, a woman is found dead in one of the berths. The police investigate the other five passengers, ... See full summary »

Director:

Costa-Gavras

Writers:

Sébastien Japrisot (novel), Costa-Gavras (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Catherine Allégret ... Benjamine Bombat dite Bambi
Jacques Perrin ... Daniel - le jeune voyageur
Simone Signoret ... Eliane Darrès - une comédienne - 4e victime
Michel Piccoli ... René Cabourg - un représentant - 2e victime
Pascale Roberts ... Georgette Thomas - la première victime
Yves Montand ... L'inspecteur Graziani dit Grazzi
Pierre Mondy ... Le commissaire Tarquin
Claude Mann ... L'inspecteur Jean-Lou Gabert
Charles Denner ... Bob Vaski - l'amant de Georgette
Jean-Louis Trintignant ... Éric Grandin - un amant d'Eliane
Nadine Alari ... Madame Graziani
Monique Chaumette ... Madame Rivolani
Maurice Chevit Maurice Chevit ... Un inspecteur
Jacques Dynam ... Un inspecteur
Bernadette Lafont ... La soeur de Georgette
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Storyline

Six people travel in a railroad sleeping car from Marseilles to Paris. Upon their arrival, a woman is found dead in one of the berths. The police investigate the other five passengers, suspecting that one of them committed the homicide, but the suspects are killed one by one. The last two must solve the case themselves before they become the next victims. Written by mnfowler

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes Fear Comes as a Friend...Sometimes as an Enemy...But to the People in the Sleeping Car Fear Came as a Stranger...Unknown...Unexpected...Unstoppable! See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

website

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

17 November 1965 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Sleeping Car Murder See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

PECF See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Was restored by Lumières Numériques for image L.E. Diapason for sound and digitized by KG Productions in 2016 from the original magnetic band and 35mm negatives, under the supervision of director Costa-Gavras. See more »

Connections

Featured in Mémoires pour Simone (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good Paris atmosphere, but too close to the book
9 February 2008 | by StrausszekSee all my reviews

This twisted cop mystery follows the efforts of the overworked Paris police to solve first, a murder in a couchette car, the dead body discovered only after all the other passengers left, and then the strange necking of many of the others before the cops can get to talk to them. There is great acting here from Signoret, Montand and others, and very amusing supporting parts (the seasoned crook and talker Bob will have you cracking up) but the film doesn't really hang together tight as a police mystery. I agree with an earlier reviewer that it spells trouble for you as a viewer that the passengers, whom we glimpse in half-darkness on the train, remain nameless for too long, and when they are identified by the police, the names are not steadily linked to faces.

It's confusing too that some of the characters suddenly muse into flashback kicking off from lines spoken to them on the train. This deepens them as characters but doesn't make the story concise. And at the police station, things are suddenly tossed in by phone calls in a way that looks haphazard. The root cause, I think, is that the film followed the book too closely, while Costa-Gavras knows how to create arresting, vivid scenes, he hasn't learnt at this point how to reimagine a storyline from writing so that it works on the screen, and so the movie seems a bit unfocused. When the final cause of the murders starts to crop up, it looks for too long like a joke element brought in for atmosphere.

It's not a bad movie at all; the photography is great, the final car chase is a winner (how often do you see a car chase in 1960s Paris?) and the acting is very good. Don't expect a murder story, though, with the tightness and relentless, upheld suspense of "Strangers On A Train" or even some episodes of "Columbo" or "Kojak".


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