The first film directed by Costa-Gavras, The Sleeping Car Murders was based on a novel by Sebastien Japrisot. During a Marseilles-to-Paris overnight train trip, a girl is found dead in a sleeping car. As Paris detective Yves Montand steps up his investigation, more and more passengers turn up murdered. The unlikely climax is the only sore point of this otherwise well-wrought mystery. Bereft of the politicizing of Costa-Gavras' later works, The Sleeping Car Murders exhibits the director's fondness for American "film noir" thrillers. The film first hit Parisian movie screens under the title Compartiment Tueurs.
by Hal Erickson synopsis