Paris Express, The; Man Who Watched The Trains Go By, The

1894. THE PARIS EXPRESS (The Man Who Watched Trains Go By) (1952-England). With Claude Raines, Marta Toren, Marius Goring, Herbert Lom, Felix Aylmer Based on a novel by Georges Simenon. Claude Raines, one of the all-time-great character actors, enlivens this provocative drama of thwarted dreams, greed and lust-and murder. He has one of his rare starring roles here, and offers a crafty, knowing performance in a part that is taiÂlor-made for his talents: Kees Popinga, a respected clerk who resides in a small Dutch village. Popinga is a timid man who goes about his business with propriety and efficiency, and remains steadfastly loyal to his employer, De Koster (played with a perfect blend of stuffiness and authority by Herbert Lom). “The firm has a reputation for integrity, honesty – and morality,” De Koster proÂclaims. Only he has been carrying on an affair with a beautiful Parisian, and has been embezzling money from his business so that he may afford her affection. Popinga, meanwhile, has been passing his boring life watching the various trains go though his town, headed for a variety of exotic destinaÂtions throughout Europe: locales which a man of his limited means could never hope to visit. Popinga accidentally discovers De Roster’s duplicity, sees his one chance in a lifetime to escape his stifling existence, and soon finds himself involved in a delightful game of cat-and-mouse with the police. Caution: this is a black and white print of a film originally released in color. 75 minutes. Crime-Mystery-Suspense