Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
Original title: Pociag
Poland, 1959. Zespól Filmowy “Kadr”. Screenplay by Jerzy Kawalerowicz, Jerzy Lutowski. Cinematography by Jan Laskowski. Music by Andrzej Trzaskowski. Production Design by Ryszard Potocki. Costume Design by Michelle Zahorska. Film Editing by Wieslawa Otocka.
A doctor boards a train traveling between cities and finds out that the cabin he just purchased is already occupied by a mysterious blond. She is being hounded by a handsome young man with a lower-classed ticket who keeps trying to communicate with her, while the doctor is being pestered by the beautiful bored housewife in the next cabin. These characters, the frustrated conductor who has to deal them, and travelers ride the train all night as subtle, dark dramas are revealed, culminating in the capture of a murderer who provides the film with a central chase. It’s not intense enough to be a thriller, nor is it moody enough to be a complex psychological drama or a comedy of human folly; it rests somewhere in the middle of all these conceits, and thanks to compelling characters, terrific acting and stunningly beautiful cinematography (not to mention a director who knows his way around an even pace and sturdy editing) it is very satisfying to behold.
Venice Film Festival: In Competition