France , 1965 / 92 min / French OV with English subt. / Drama, Crime

Costa-Gavras Retrospective

Costa-Gavras‘s first feature film is a film noir about a difficult manhunt on a night train in which appearances are deceiving and no one is to be trusted.

Six people travel by night train from Marseille to Paris. When the train arrives at its destination, one of the passengers, Georgette, a young woman, is found dead in her sleeping berth. The police, led by Inspector Grazziani, investigate the other five passengers, suspecting that one of them was responsible. The perpetrator, however, seems to outsmart the inspector’s every move, and as the investigation is stepped up, more and more of the remaining passengers start turning up dead. It is then up to the last remaining two to solve the case, before they fall victim to the sleeping car murderer.

Uncertainty, suspicion and treason permeate this film inspired by American films noirs.

Wed 11/03 14:00 Ciné Utopia FR OV with EN subt. Public
  • NBR Award for Best Foreign Language Film, National Board of Review, 1967 (USA)
  • NBR Award for Top Foreign Films, National Board of Review, 1967 (USA)
Cast & Credits
Simone Signoret, Yves Montand, Pierre Mondy, Pascale Roberts, Michel Piccoli, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Charles Denner, Claude Mann, Jacques Perrin, Catherine Allégret, Nadine Alari, Jean Lefebvre
Costa-Gavras, d’après le livre éponyme de Sébastien Japrisot
Jean Tournier
Jacques Carrère, Joseph de Bretagne
Rino Mondellini
Michel Magne
KG Productions

Konstantinos Gavras, better known as Costa-Gavras, is a Franco-Greek director, screenwriter and producer. He was born in 1933 in the region of Arcadia in Greece and moved to Athens after the Second World War. His father was a member of the Greek resistance during the War. Because of the latter’s communist political convictions, Costa-Gavras isn’t allowed to study in Greece. He emigrated to France in 1951 and arrived in Paris in 1955 to study literature at the Sorbonne. As a frequent visitor to the Cinémathèque, he enrols at IDHEC in 1956 and discovers film sets as assistant to some of the biggest names of French cinema: René Clair, René Clément, Jacques Demy, Henri Verneuil, Jean Becker, Jean Giono. . In 1965, he directed his powerful first feature, The Sleeping Car Murders, and followed up with critically acclaimed international successes, including Z (1969 – Jury Prize in Cannes & Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film), Special Section (1975 – Best Director in Cannes), Missing (1982 – Palme d’Or in Cannes & Oscar for the Best Adapted Screenplay), Music Box (1989 – Golden Bear at the Berlinale), and Amen (2002 – César for the Best Screenplay). Overall, he directed 20 feature films that did not only change cinema and our way of seeing the world, but also never shied away from denouncing injustices. His latest feature, Adults in the Room (2019) is an adaptation of the eponymous book by the former Greek Minister of Finance, Yanis Varoufakis. In 1982, Costa-Gavras is nominated president of the Cinémathèque Française, a position he occupies until 1987, and again since 2007.

As a tireless defender of human rights, Costa-Gravas is particularly well-known to have used film to explain political issues. His work is characterised by reflections on power, law and justice, oppression, violence and torture. For the most part, his films dealt with centre-right movements and regimes, including Greek conservatives inside and outside the army in Z, while State of Siege (1972) and Missing dealt with right-wing dictatorships in Latin America. In 1985, he was awarded the Spain’s Gold Medal of Merit for the Fine Arts for the entirety of his career. In 2013, he received an Honorary Magritte, as well as the Jaeger-Le Coultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award at the 76th Venice Film Festival in 2019. He is an officer of the French National Order of Merit and, since July 2019, commander of the Légion d’Honneur.

  • 2019 – Adults in the Room
  • 2012 – Le capital
  • 2008 – Eden à l‘Ouest
  • 2004 – Le couperet
  • 2002 – Amen
  • 1997 – Mad City
  • 1995 – Lumière et compagnie (série documentaire / documentary series / Dokumentarserie)
  • 1992 – La petite apocalypse
  • 1989 – Music Box
  • 1988 – Betrayed
  • 1986 – Conseil de famille
  • 1983 – Hanna K.
  • 1982 – Missing
  • 1979 – Clair de femme
  • 1975 – Section spéciale
  • 1972 – État de siège
  • 1970 – L’aveu
  • 1970 – Yves Montand (documentaire / documentary / Dokumentarfilm)
  • 1969 – Z
  • 1967 – 1 Homme de Trop
  • 1965 – Compartiment tueurs
  • 1958 – Les rates (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)