The Train (1965)
John Frankenheimer directs Burt Lancaster in the tense spy thriller The Train. Lancaster plays Labiche, a French railway inspector. Allied forces are threatening to liberate Paris, so Col. Franz von Waldheim (Paul Scofield) is ordered to move the priceless works of art from the Jeu de Paume Museum to the fatherland. The head of the museum (Suzanne Flon) attempts to convince Labiche that he should sabotage the train on which they are transporting the art. Labiche is more focused on destroying a trainload of German weapons. After his friend is killed trying to stop the train with the art, and after a consciousness-raising conversation with a hotel owner (Jeanne Moreau), Labiche resolves to save the antiquities. Lancaster and Frankenheimer had worked together previously on both Birdman of Alcatraz and Seven Days in May. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi … More
- Drama , Action & Adventure , Art House & International , Mystery & Suspense , Classics
- Directed By:
- Arthur Penn , John Frankenheimer
- Written By:
- Franklin Coen , Frank Davis , Walter Bernstein , Albert Husson , John Frankenheimer
- In Theaters:
- Mar 7, 1965 Limited
- On DVD:
- May 15, 2001
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Critic Reviews for The Train
It's simple stuff -- finely wrought entertainment -- but on its own merits, it works.
For a film with such an illogical premise, The Train manages to be a top-rate WWII thriller that's held up well.
A landmark picture in terms of its breakneck, antic, physical ambition--the marriage of that hell to the heaven of its gravitas something that marks Frankenheimer's best films.
Classic Frankenheimer WWII actioner with unique plot.
Audience Reviews for The Train
Exciting story based on actual events in the resistance to Nazi occupiers during WWII. Good performance by Lancaster. Definitely worth seeing if this has somehow slipped under your radar.More
A screaming pile of awesomeness. Gritty, action packed and full of machismo.
Possibly the best train movie ever.
Suggested double feature: Von Ryan's Express.
Don't you just love the way Burt Lancaster always plays Burt Lancaster, no matter the circumstance, the setting or even the nationality of the character? What would be a detriment to most other actors seems to only strengthen his popularity.
Here, in this classic WWII drama, Lancaster is a "FRENCH" engineer in charge of the railroad traffic in and out of Paris. He is also covertly intent on sabotaging the occupational German army every chance he gets. While those around him, be they French or German, speak with fluid accents, Burt never waivers from his trademark American dialect. The best part is that we, his legions of adoring fans, don't seem to mind one bit. It's not the words that fuel his performance, it's the emotion behind them. In The Train there is no actor less French than Burt Lancaster, and yet I can't imagine anyone better suited for the part.
The Train is a really good action film and one of the most underrated war pictures. It's engaging, well-paced, with great special effects and strong performances. Add in the theme about the relative worth of artistic treasures to human lives and you've got a quality movie.
John Frankenheimer got his training in live TV where there were no second takes so he made sure that everything was rehearsed and the shot setup and lighting was perfect. This carries over to his films which have a documentary look and feel, even though they are fictional. The stunts and train wrecks were all real and it took a massive amount of dynamite carefully placed and blown off at precisely the right time to stage the massive special effects that characterize this film. Dynamite is so much more satisfying than the gasoline explosions so typically seen in action movies.
The Train Quotes
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