(Unrated, 2:13:12, Released 1965)
|Genres:||Drama, Action & Adventure, Art House & International, Mystery & Suspense, Classics|
|Release Date:||Mar 7, 1965|
|DVD Release Date:||May 15, 2001|
|Starring:||Burt Lancaster, Paul Scofield, Jeanne Moreau, Michel Simon, Suzanne Flon, Charles Millot, Wolfgang Preiss, Jean-Claude Bercq, Paul Bonifas, Arthur Brauss|
|Directed by:||John Frankenheimer, Arthur Penn|
|Synopsis:||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|
|Full movie details|
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Other Top Reviews
November 29, 2010
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.
September 11, 2009
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.
March 16, 2009
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.
December 20, 2008
Burt Lancaster would put most of the modern day "action stars" to shame. This guy is a badass all the way around. When he is not sliding down ladders or jumping off moving trains (and it's really him), he's giving great speeches that made me want to preserve some art from my homeland. I was enthralled the entire way and loved every second of the cat and mouse game that Lancaster plays with Scofield (also brilliant). I kept thinking that Lancaster probably really shot himself in the leg during the last half of the movie just so he could know what it was lto do all these stunts with a bullet in his leg. John Frankenheimer does an excellent job with the action sequences (the train wrecks were awesome) that stand the test of time. Overall the way he shoots this film really impressed me (I didn't realize it was going to be in black and white either). A classic action film that I could watch again and again.
July 14, 2007
WWII adventure that sees Burt Lancaster in typically rough and tumble style attempting to stop a nazi colonel from stealing the art treasures of Paris. The film would've worked better if Frankenheimer had shown as much interest in the characters (and the war for that matter) as he did in the locomotives, but there are a couple of impressive set pieces involving a 3 train wreck and railyard aerial bombardment. On the whole, more one for steam enthusiasts than the rest of us, but it is worth persevering with for the powerful final scenes in which the obsessive colonel must admit defeat.
July 25, 2006
Also not given enuff credit! one of Frankenheimer's best - a war espionage flick.
March 4, 2012
John Frankenheimer's tense thriller The Train deals with an under discussed real-life wide-scale act of vandalism perpetrated by the Nazi's during WWII. Many historic works of art were taken and even to this day are trying to be retrieved. The film focuses on a train loaded with French artwork that a high ranking German officer (Paul Scofield) is trying to smuggle out of France before the allied forces are able to liberate the country. Burt Lancaster and a crew of allied soldiers are ordered to delay the train and preserve the art work at all costs until the allied forces can reach them. Some German officials don't regard the artwork as important as Scofield does. The same can be said of the Americans who feel they are risking their lives for something not worth any mans life. The moral debate over the significance and importance of the artwork is explored but never answered throughout the film. The film is an excellent action piece with many war scene spectacles and incredible explosions and real-life train crashes. The film also showcases a powerhouse performance at the conclusion where Scofield and Lancaster face off in a showdown of words and morality, not guns and bullets. Scofield declares that no matter what the artwork is rightfully his, it is his birthright and anyone's birthright who can look at and truly admire a work of art. Lancaster cannot do this and so his endeavors are a wasted and futile attempt by a soldier blindly following orders not understanding the reason for his actions. Lancaster is left to look around the carnage, dead bodies, derailed trains and spilled artwork and wonder what was it all for? and was any of it worth even one mans life?
P.S. This film is hands down one of the most undervalued and under-appreciated films in history. It is just as good as Billy Wilder's Stalag 17 and The Great Escape yet it is not present on any notable list of great films I've ever seen. In fact if you search on RT for The Train you'll have to scroll past 25 other films before you'll come across it. This is an unjust treatment to a basically lost classic!
May 5, 2013
Burt Lancaster is a commanding onscreen presence, even in his less memorable performances. "The Train" has him playing Labiche, a French railway inspector who joins the French Resistance in their effort to stop a ruthless Nazi colonel from stealing a priceless art collection. Needless to say, Lancaster isn't convincing as a Frenchman, but he has charm and spirit and we like his character instantly because of it. "The Train" suffers from too much exposition and not enough action, but it is well-scripted and intensely-directed by the consistently underrated John Frankenheimer.
June 15, 2010
The Train is a 1964 war movie written by Franklin Coen and Frank Davis and directed by John Frankenheimer. It stars Burt Lancaster, Paul Scofield and Jeanne Moreau.
Set in August 1944, the film sets Resistance-member Labiche (Burt Lancaster) against Col. von Waldheim (Paul Scofield), as the former attempts to prevent the latter shipping art masterpieces from a French museum to Germany.Whit fantastic black and white cinematography, this war movie pearl is very tense and realistic.A must see.
September 22, 2009
One of my favorite movies set around WWII. Lancaster is all badass in this one!
March 6, 2008
A Great Early 60s Frankenheimer film. He makes the whole movie feel like you are there. Has a strong documentary feel. A Very Quite performance by Burt, but still excellent as always. It makes me laugh because he is spose to be French, and is just being Burt. Paul Scofield is great as the Nazi Art Snob, a very complex villian
June 10, 2013
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.
September 17, 2012
Wow, this was one crazy movie. I couldn't believe how exciting, smart and well executed this was. The cinematography, the acting, the characters, the suspense, the action, the schemes and plans all fit perfectly and well round this movie. This has to be the best World War 2 movie I have seen so far, and I have seen a ton. What an experience. Great, just excellent.
June 15, 2011
This was really great.It is about the Moving of the Stolen, Priceless Works of Art by the Masters that were the Most Famous Spoils of War in History to Date.
February 11, 2010
(1964 Directors Arthur Penn, John Frankenheimer) Very low key yet dramatic black & white film co-starring Burt Lancaster, Paul Scofield & Jeanne Moerau. Excellent story of French resistance.
July 6, 2008
Goddammit! I hate Nazis! What bastards!
I'm sorry to all the Nazis out there, but I'm not. At all. Nazis suck. Take that, Third Reich! This really is one dynamite movie. I was on the fence about giving it a perfect score, but there is one thing that bothered me about it, I'll address that later, but first I'd like to talk about all the great things that this movie offers.
I like war movies. I'm not a war movie buff. As proven by my breakdown in the 501, apparently I'm a much bigger sci-fi nerd than I give myself credit for. (Trust me, I'm as ashamed of me as you are.) But my big issue for not seeing more war movies is that they all feel similar. At least the American ones all feel similar. That's not absolutely true. There are a handful that absolutely stand out and prove me completely wrong, but for the most part, it's always the Americans coming in to save the day. Now, I'm not trying to be unpatriotic on the Fourth of July weekend, but I actually like the French Underground stories better. While American battles and strategies are all fine and nice, I'd much rather see the craftiness of the French Underground work right under the noses of the Nazis with the most to lose. It is their personal face that the Germans are seeing. If they are caught, not only are they killed, but all of their friends and family is killed. That's much more powerful than the casualties of war that seem to innumerable. Not to sound callous, but there's something scary when death has a face. This story delivers the cleverness of the French Underground in spades. Perhaps too much (oh, fine, I'll address my one quip now) because it kind of felt like another Great Escape scenario all over again. But there is precident for it, so I'll forgive it. I just took a half star off. (WHAT?!? It's not perfect! Don't look at me with those eyes!)
But the rest of the movie is as solid as war films come. It's a really interesting concept that addresses some very serious issues of patriotism v. sacrifice. The French Underground, locally led by Burt Lancaster (a burly man with a very American aura about him) has to stop a train from leaving the country full of paintings. These are guys who have initially started as 18 and are now down to three people. They have risked their lives time and time again for people and have paid the ultimate price. But now they're asked to do one last job that won't directly save any lives, but just preserve the nationality and pride of the country. I'm really glad that the story addresses issues of importance and pricelessness. This could have easily been a clouded movie where everyone was just on board for saving the pride of France, but it addressed some social concerns that I think far outweigh the action and the intrigue involved.
Burt Lancaster and Paul Scofield are perfect enemies for one another. I love the evolution that Lancaster's character goes through. Even though he has risked his life time and again, he is initially accused as being as bad as the Nazi soldiers pushing them around by a father figure. I love how Frankenheimer puts him in a nice suit and tie for the opening of the film and ends with the character in his own combat-fatigued outfit. It's a great process that the character goes through and I think that the choice is very effective. The movie runs at 2 hours and 15 minutes and by the end, you hardly remember the main who pulled levers with a tie and sat in German offices. Rather, he's a true hero, hiding out in bushes and ignoring a gimp leg that was shot out by the Nazis midway through the film. Paul Scofield also needs the same commendation. The movie starts off with him as almost a humanitarian Nazi (if that was possible) and then you find out that he's one of the biggest sociopaths short of Hitler himself. The man's obsession with art allows dozens of men to die on both sides of the war and he cares for little else except for his personal collection and achieving victory, regardless of how small. I remember watching the beginning of the movie and just hoping that he'd get permission to take these paintings and then wanting to see nothing more than him get gunned down in a hail of gunfire. (Great payoff...too bad they put it on the cover and it is the most famous image of the film!)
What I'm really amazed by is the irony of some of the movie. John Frankenheimer uses real trains in this movie. Crashes the sh*t out of them. (No wonder that he has to thank the French Train Commission at the beginning of the movie! He wrecked some sh*t!) But think about all that risk and all that damage just for art. I realize that the book enlightened me to this idea, but that's a heck of a thing. I mean, crashing trains together is a huge endeavor. When a train crashes in real life (admittedly, not under controlled situations), that makes national news! He did it multiple times and on camera. There had to be a huge element of danger involved with making this movie. I don't think you can make a train Death Proof. (I guess you can have no one on board though.) Either way, I would have been crapping my pants being a cameraman on this movie.
This really is one of those exceptional war films. At times, it harkens on being too clever, but the movie is so good that you just don't care. Besides, I'm sure it was based, on some extent, on real events.
June 20, 2007
An underrated classic. Lancaster's stunt work and the changed third act make this film totally worth it. Very unique stuff!
May 5, 2007
Another black and white classic. Tight direction, great panorama action and of course excellent acting for a war time movie. Brilliant.
February 21, 2007
This was a great movie! Burt Lancaster is awesome! Based on a true story about the priceless art the Nazi's tried to steal from France.