The 1934 Fox melodrama Orient Express was based on a Graham Greene novel. In true "Grand Hotel" fashion, an awful lot happens during the Constantinople-to-Ostend run of the titular express. The dramatis personae includes covetous dancer Coral Musker (Heather Angel), naïve date merchant Carlton Myatt (Norman Foster), erudite anarchist Dr. Czinner (Ralph Morgan), a homicidal sneak thief (Roy D'Arcy), and an abrasive blue-collar couple (Herbert Mundin and Una O'Connor, who previously co-starred in Cavalcade and were later reteamed in The Adventures of Robin Hood). When the intrigues become too thick for comprehension, the solution is provided by girl reporter Mabel Warren (Dorothy Burgess), justifying her heretofore unexplained presence in the picture. The plot goes off on too many directions at once, suggesting a plethora of rewrites. Despite its confusing storyline, critics admired the "continental" look of Orient Express, remarking that one would never imagine that it was a mere Hollywood programmer.
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