Synopsis: 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.
Genre: Thriller
105 min

- Hi Jean, hi Michelle.

- Hi.

It's a terrific train.

- What's this? - We should set a

film on a train like this.

Yes, why not?

We could call it "Trans Europ

Express". It's a good title.

- Fine. What's the story?

- Drug trafficking.

Something exciting, with fights,

violence, rape, you know.

- Good, let's start at once.

You have your tape-recorder?

- I'm ready.

- Here we go.

At the Gare du Nord in Paris,

a drug trafficker

receives from his accomplice a

suitcase with a fake bottom

in which he is to transport from

Belgium a few kilos of cocaine.

Then he boards the Trans-Europ-Express

going to Antwerp.

But the police, always on the alert,

have followed our man.

Hardly has he entered his compartment,

he is attacked by three policemen

armed to the teeth.

Here let's remind ourselves that

drug trafficking represents

a not insignificant part of the

national revenue,

some 0,17% of the total of

import operations

carried out by private companies...

- I need a suitcase.

- Certainly, what type?

The trafficker model, with a false

bottom to hide the drugs.

Just kidding.


I'm sorry, are you waiting for

Father Petitjean?

No, I know that he is not back

from his trip yet.

I have some news of him.

Petitjean is drinking beer at

the station bar.

Thank you, but beware of false news.

Is he crazy, that one?

What is he looking for?

- Didn't you recognize him?

- It's Trintignant.

Of course. What about using him

for your film?

- Yes, for instance.

- What name will you give him?

- Elias.

- Isn't there a better name?

- No, I'm sorry, his name is Elias.

- His first or last name?

- It's a nickname.

- But what's his name in real life?

- In real life I don't know.

- That's a good start.

To recap:
in the beginning your Elias

has an empty suitcase.

- Why did he buy the sugar?

- The suitcase was too light.

- He's taken nothing else for the trip?

- No, he didn't have the time.

He left on sudden orders.

- Whose orders?

The trafficking organization.

But do drugs really get transported

in this way?

- Obviously, if that's what's he does.

- Who?


- So what next?

- Where was I?

The other suitcase.

"At the Gare du Nord in Paris,

a drug trafficker

receives from an accomplice in

exchange for the suitcase he's bought

an identical suitcase with a false

bottom to transport from Belgium

several kilos of cocaine."

And then?

Then he boards the train and

looks for a quiet seat.

Who is this girl with the glasses?

Must be an agent of the rival gang

sent to steal the suitcase.

But why? It's empty.

Yes, that's true.

- What is she looking for?

- The coke, can't you see?

But that's impossible.

You just said that he was going

to Antwerp for the pickup.

She probably does not know that.

The rival gang should know in which

direction goes the trafficking.

So she is not from a rival gang.

She is an amateur detective...

- And where has he gone?

- I don't know, the bathroom.

Why would she search his suitcase

in the first place?

OK, let's forget it.

Passports, please.

Thank you, madam.

Thank you.

It's equally absurd for her to

steal the suitcase.

Why would it interest a rival gang

or a detective

or anybody else?

So she must be a kleptomaniac,

a train thief.

She took the suitcase by chance,

not knowing about the fake bottom,

and she has nothing to do with

the drug trafficking.

Shall we continue?

This stolen suitcase story doesn't

work and it gets us nowhere.

OK, as you like.

And the cocaine is also

off the mark.

In Antwerp it would sooner be

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Alain Robbe-Grillet

Alain Robbe-Grillet (French: [a.lɛ̃ ʁɔb ɡʁi.jɛ]; 18 August 1922 – 18 February 2008) was a French writer and filmmaker. He was one of the figures most associated with the Nouveau Roman (new novel) trend of the 1960s, along with Nathalie Sarraute, Michel Butor and Claude Simon. Alain Robbe-Grillet was elected a member of the Académie française on 25 March 2004, succeeding Maurice Rheims at seat No. 32. He was married to Catherine Robbe-Grillet (née Rstakian). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Trans-Europ-Express" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 19 Oct. 2021. <>.

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