Stop Train 349 (Verspätung in Marienborn)
Directed by Rold Hädrich
Written by Jim Henaghan, Victor Vicas and Norman Borisoff from a story by Will Tremper
Da Ma Produzione/ Hans Oppenheimer Film/Hoche Productions et al
First viewing/Amazon Instant
After a somewhat cheesy opening, this topical political thriller works really well.
By treaty, the East Germans allowed the U.S. Army to operate a sealed train between West Berlin and West Germany, crossing East German territory. On this run of the train there is an unscheduled stop within East Germany and a East German escapee jumps onto the train. A sympathetic nurse unlocks a sealed door and attempts to hide him.
This doesn’t work too well because an obnoxious and nosy U.S. journalist (Jose Ferrer) is soon onto a story. At the border between East and West Berlin the train is again stopped by East German and Soviet authorities demanding the refugee, which the Army denies harboring. Tense negotiations ensue.
After the introductory bad “theme song” with shots of Berlin this becomes a taut thriller. One is really unsure of the fate of the refugee to the very end. The negotiations struck me as very realistic. Recommended to those looking for an obscure gem. I watched a dubbed version.
Clip – does not reflect the quality or tone of the rest of the film