last week and listed this disc as coming out then, just a week after I'd initially reported on it. So for the third week in a row now, Night Train to Munich gets a plug on this blog. And this time, it really is available! Today finally sees the release (for real!) of one of the terrific spy films of the Forties long absent from DVD, courtesy of The Criterion Collection: Carol Reed's Night Train to Munich, starring Rex Harrison and The Lady Vanish's Margaret Lockwood. Lockwood isn't all that this decidely Hitchcockian comedic thriller has in common with The Lady Vanishes, either. Besides a train setting, the two movies also share a couple of screenwriters (Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat) and the cricket-loving comic relief characters Charters and Caldicott (Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne, who also played the roles in a second feature included on Criterion's Lady Vanishes DVD). Night Train to Munich (1940) follows Harrison as a dashing British secret agent accompanying a Czech scientist and his daughter across war-torn Europe as they attempt to evade Nazi spies. Besides the first-rate transfer Criterion is known or, DVD features include a "new video conversation between film scholars Peter Evans and Bruce Babington about director Carol Reed, screenwriters Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat, and the social and political climate in which Night Train to Munich was made" and a booklet with an essay by film critic Philip Kemp.This story probably looks familiar. I jumped the gun
It's not a DVD (and not quite even spy), but another release this week that will definitely interest spy fans is Network's soundtrack for the Seventies ITC series The Zoo Gang (featuring music by Ken Thorne and Paul McCartney), available this week from the company's website. Listen to samples here.