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Trans-Europ-Express (1966)

A movie producer, director and assistant take the Trans-Europ-Express from Paris to Antwerp. They get the idea for a movie about a drug smuggler on their train and visualize it while taping the script.
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean-Louis Trintignant ... Elias / Self
Marie-France Pisier ... Eva / Self
Christian Barbier Christian Barbier ... Lorentz - the policeman
Raoul Guylad ... An intermediary
Henri Lambert Henri Lambert ... Inspector
Paul Louyet Paul Louyet ... Marc
Charles Millot ... Franck
Rezy Norbert Rezy Norbert ... The concierge
Gérard Palaprat Gérard Palaprat ... Le Petit Mathieu (as Gerard Palaprat)
Catherine Robbe-Grillet Catherine Robbe-Grillet ... Lucette - the script girl
Salkin Salkin ... An intermediary
Ariane Sapriel Ariane Sapriel ... A traveller
Prima Symphony Prima Symphony ... The stripper
Clo Vanesco Clo Vanesco ... Cabaret Singer
Nadine Verdier Nadine Verdier ... Hotel Maid


A film director, Jean, his producer, Marc, and his assistant, Lucette, board the Trans-Europ-Express in Paris bound for Antwerp. Once in their compartment it occurs to them that the drama of life aboard the train presents possibilities for a film, and they begin to write a script about dope smuggling. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Erotic? Serious? Funny? Tragic? A Mystery? A Game? A Paradox? Neo-Sadism? A Detective Story?


See all certifications »



France | Belgium


French | Dutch

Release Date:

12 May 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Avrupa Ekspresi See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (cut) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film was banned by the British Censor because of its depiction of sexual bondage (which is now regarded as very tame). See more »


Eva: And you? What do you do for a living.
Elias: I'm an assassin.
Eva: Professional?
Elias: No, amateur.
Elias: Semi-professional, actually.
See more »


References From Russia with Love (1963) See more »


La Traviata
See more »

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User Reviews

24 November 2008 | by ametaphysicalsharkSee all my reviews

I had not heard of "Trans-Europ-Express" until a couple of months ago, and as soon as the film was available to me I eagerly got a hold of it, but put off watching it until today because I was under the impression that it was a 'difficult' movie and wanted to be in the mood for such a film. Much to my surprise, Alain Robbe-Grillet's "Trans-Europ-Express" is one of the most entertaining and involving films I've ever seen, managing to be cerebral and clever as can be while never giving into being impenetrable for the sake of being impenetrable.

Robert McKee classifies "Trans-Europ-Express" as a 'nonplot' film, and even though the film has two separate 'plots', I suppose it would be accurate enough to say that it doesn't really focus on telling a story set in stone. Classifying the film by genre is equally difficult, it is a somewhat comical film-within-a-film, a mystery, an erotic thriller, and even an espionage film for a bit. Let's just say the fourth wall has never been used so well in a film.

"Trans-Europ-Express" is a playful, adventurous film which seems to want nothing more than to toy with as many genre conventions as it can, and Robbe-Grillet does that so very well here. What's most amazing about the film is that it works on all the levels it's supposed to work on. Furthermore, the acting is superb, the cinematography gorgeous, and Robbe-Grillet's direction captivating and always interesting. I found the use of music here excellent, but the sound mixing even more interesting. The attention to detail is wonderful.

As many 'intimidating' films as I've seen, and as many of them that I have loved, I have to be in the right mood to see them. Perhaps the element of surprise with "Trans-Europ-Express" gave it an advantage, but this really is one of the greatest, most purely enjoyable films I've ever seen. Cerebral, clever, smart, and stylish, all without being too ambitious for its own good, "Trans-Europ-Express" is a movie for everyone and for all moods, a must-see inversion (and perversion) of genre conventions. All film buffs should enjoy this, but it might be of particular interest to one who likes the genres being toyed with here, and I love them.


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