John North (Richard Todd) is an average guy. He is a struggling writer with a wife Carol (Valerie Hobson), and a mistress Susan Wilding (Christine Norden). Susan is the wife of Jerves Wilding (Alexander Gauge). Jerves is John’s publisher. John and Susan are running away together. They plan on taking the express train from London to Wales.
John waits for Susan outside her home. He sees Jerves leave. A short time later Susan leaves and meets John in the shadows. Taking a cab to the train station John notices someone behind them. He sees what he thinks could be the same man at the train station. He now thinks they are being followed.
On the train they take a compartment and pull the curtains. Alone they begin talking about their life together but John is a little preoccupied. He still has a nagging feeling they are being followed. He’s also feeling guilty about leaving his wife. Susan falls asleep. John walks out of the compartment into the corridor. At one end he sees what looks like the man in the trench coat he saw before. At the other end he sees Jerves.
He pulls the emergency cord and jumps off the train past the still sleeping Susan. His home happens to be near that point in the track. He rushes home to be with Carol. Later they hear an awful crash. Looking out the window they see the train that John was just on. Wreckage is everywhere.
Now John is feeling guilty again believing his pulling the emergency cord had something to do with the train crashing. Soon after they are visited by British Railways Inspector Clayton (Tom Walls). He found an address book on Susan’s body. John’s name is in it. One of the other dead passengers was a private detective hired by Susan’s husband. His notes record that a man boarded the train with Susan. His initials are the same as Johns. John is acting like a guilty man but denies even knowing Susan very well.
Carol ends up figuring out that it was John on the train. John ends up confessing to Carol. They both are ready to face Clayton when they hear that the pulling of the emergency cord had nothing to do with the train crash. Clayton is satisfied that John had nothing to do with the crash and doesn’t need to hear his story. Life is once again good for John. Until Clayton shows up telling him that Susan was dead before the crash. She had been shot in the back and John is now suspect number one.
“The Interrupted Journey” was released in 1949 and was directed by Daniel Birt. It is a British film and a crime/mystery/thriller. There are also some noir aspects to the film. There are some unusual camera angles and uses of light and shade that add a sinister feel to the second half of the movie.
At first it started out as more of a melodrama. It was kinda slow and boring. After the crash and it was discovered that Susan had actually been shot is when it started to get good. There have been comments that the ending of the film is contrived and, to a certain extent, it is. The ending wasn’t as good as I would have liked but the way it was done was better than most. Let’s just say that for a cheating husband, he got better than he deserved.
Most of the people listed in the newspaper as killed in the train crash were actually names of the movie crew: Jack Hanbury, Desmond Mavis (Davis), Joan Davis, Erwin Hillier, and Ivan King.
An actual crash that happened the year before this movie was made near Winsford in Cheshire. A serviceman on his way home pulled the emergency cord so he could be home quicker rather than continuing on to Crewe and then having to catch a train back to Winsford.