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The story of seven people: their lives and love affairs in Madrid during the Civil War.
The Spanish Civil War is destroying Madrid, and the military offers a last chance for those people to whom they grant passes to leave on a train headed for Valencia at midnight. That day, Colonel Vigo tells his second-in-command, Captain Ricardo Alvarez that he is releasing some prisoners who have agreed to fight at the dreaded battleground of Cordoza. Among the prisoners is Eduardo de Soto, one of a brotherhood called the Five Valiants, of which Ricardo also is a member. Ricardo helps Eduardo escape the military police and provides him with a hiding place. Having been in prison for two years, Eduardo's first thoughts are of his girl friend, Carmelita Castillo, who, although she is thrilled to see him, has not waited for him, and has become engaged to Ricardo, unaware that the men are acquainted. Carmelita is now torn between Ricardo, who has been a loyal companion, and Eduardo, whom she has loved for so long. Eduardo gallantly hides his disappointment, but Ricardo senses something between his two friends. Meanwhile, people in the city are frantically trying to obtain passes for the midnight train. A female soldier, Maria Ronda, deserts her troop and hitches a ride with American reporter Bill Dexter, who promises to help her see her father before he is executed. Bill manages to get Maria in to the prison to see Carlos Ronda, and both men make her believe that he has been reprieved, so she will leave Madrid without hesitation. As they leave the prison, Carlos is executed, although Juan Ramos, one of his executioners, refuses to fire. Because of his apparent cowardice, Juan is transferred to Cordoza, but is given two hours before he must report. As he walks through town, Juan comes to the aid of a man who has just been shot by a sniper. He and Lola, from whom the man had just departed, take the dead man to her room, where Juan desperately begs her for the man's pass. While talking, Juan and Lola discover they both spent their childhoods in the same town, and as they reminisce, they fall in love. Juan decides to add Lola's name to the pass as his wife. In another part of town, Bill and Maria escape an air raid in a cellar, where Bill gets drunk on wine and proposes. When he revives in his apartment from a stupor, he tells her it was all a joke, and while he is at the door getting his pass from military police, Maria, brokenhearted, runs away. In a restaurant, Eduardo meets a former lover, Baroness Helene Rafitto, who promises to get him a pass so they can leave together. At her apartment, she pays her cruel lover, Michael Balk, $20,000 for his pass, but when he threatens to call the police and tell them to cancel the pass, Helene becomes filled with hatred for him and kills him. Ricardo is then arrested for treason for helping Eduardo. He escapes from the police to warn Eduardo, and Vigo orders his men to shoot to kill should they find Ricardo. Finally, the train prepares to board, and the station is mobbed. While Juan and Lola are on their way to the train station, they are attacked by robbers. Lola is mortally wounded during the ensuing gunfire and dies in Juan's arms. At the driver's urging, he continues on to the station. Eduardo boards the train with the pass Helene gives him, and when police come near their compartment, he moves to another while Helene is arrested for Balk's murder. Bill and Maria find each other at the station and successfully board the train. Vigo orders the train delayed until Ricardo and Eduardo are found, but Ricardo holds him hostage and forces him to call in an "all clear" so the train will leave. The train departs, and as Ricardo leads Vigo out of the building, intending to hold him until the train arrives in Valencia, one of Vigo's compatriots shoots him. Vigo disarms him and discovers that Ricardo's gun was never loaded. Impressed by Ricardo's loyalty to his friend, Vigo allows the train to continue without interruption to Valencia, and Ricardo dies in peace. Maria and Bill plan to marry, and Eduardo and Carmelita are reunited.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||not available|
|Release Date:||1937||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Black and White||Distributions Co:||Paramount Pictures, Inc.|
|Sound:||Mono||Production Co:||Paramount Pictures, Inc.|
|Duration(mins):||75, 78 or 83||Country:||United States|
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