Favorite Train Scenes from the IMDb Staff

IMDb staff members answer the question: "What is your favourite movie or TV-show featuring a train or train station scene and optionally why do you like it?"

The comments are from a variety of different staff members here at IMDb.
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Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A mysterious stranger with a harmonica joins forces with a notorious desperado to protect a beautiful widow from a ruthless assassin working for the railroad. (164 mins.)
Director: Sergio Leone
“ I really ought to answer with ‘North by Northwest’ however more memorable from a train perspective is the greatest western ever made, ‘Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)’ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064116/ … the movie begins with a classic scene and our synopsis feature comes in handy here http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064116/synopsis with a good description of the entire plot and specifically this opening scene:

“In the desert Southwest of America during the waning days of the Old West, three gunmen two wearing long duster overcoats (Jack Elam, Woody Strode, Al Mulock) take over an isolated train depot and settle in to wait for the train. When the train finally comes, a nameless harmonica-playing stranger (Charles Bronson) gets off and asks for someone named Frank. They tell him Frank sent them in his place. In the ensuing showdown, all four men go down. Only the man with the harmonica gets up again…”
The relevant quote being http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064116/quotes?qt=qt0317982

Harmonica: And Frank?
Snaky: Frank sent us.
Harmonica: Did you bring a horse for me?
Snaky: Well... looks like we're...
Snaky: ...looks like we're shy one horse.
Harmonica: You brought two too many.

(“Harmonica” then shoots the three men and rides off on one of the horses) ” - VideoJordan
A Hard Day's Night (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A "typical" day in the life of The Beatles, including many of their famous songs. (87 mins.)
Director: Richard Lester
“ I shall go for A Hard Day's Night which features several pleasing moments on a train including:
- an impromptu rendition of I Should Have Known Better in the guard's van, the introduction of the running gag about Paul's grandfather:
[repeated line about Grandfather]
Paul: He's very clean.

- a shot of tour manager Shake (John Junkin) reading a copy of Son of Mad (a book which I own)

- and this line from Ringo which, for some years in the early 2000s, was my email sig:
Ringo: Yeah, I know, that's why I play the drums - it's me active compensatory factor. ” - VideoJordan
Days of Heaven (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A hot-tempered farm laborer convinces the woman he loves to marry their rich but dying boss so that they can have a claim to his fortune. (94 mins.)
Director: Terrence Malick
“ I’ll go with ‘Days of Heaven’, the scene where Bill, Abby and Linda arrive in the Texas Panhandle on the top of a train.


It’s beautifully shot, and I love Linda’s voiceover (not just here, but throughout the whole film).

Linda: “The three of us been goin’ places. Lookin’ for things; searchin’ for things; goin’ on adventures. They told everybody they were brother an’ sister. My brother didn’t want nobody to know. You know how people are – you tell ‘em somethin’, they start talkin’.” ” - VideoJordan
Quadrophenia (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
London, 1965: Like many other youths, Jimmy hates the philistine life, especially his parents and his job in a company's mailing division... (120 mins.)
Director: Franc Roddam
“ Can I go for my favourite scene featuring a train instead?

Quadrophonia, where a wired Jimmy (Phil Daniels), on the verge of melting down, is sat with really heavy eyeliner between two pinstripe suited businessmen in their bowler hats, with 5.15 by The Who as the soundtrack.

Obsessed by the film as an impressionable kid, but tried to watch it again last year and didn’t make it the whole way through… The soundtrack definitely stands the test of time though. ” - VideoJordan
Throw Momma from the Train (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A bitter ex-husband and a put-upon momma's boy both want their respective former spouse and mother dead. Who will pull it off? (88 mins.)
Director: Danny DeVito
“ My head says Strangers on a Train (1951) but my heart says Throw Momma from the Train (1987) – which is not only a comedic homage to the former, but has Anne Ramsey in it and is responsible for quotes such as:-

Momma: He's trying to kill me! I asked for the salted nuts. He brought me the unsalted nuts. The unsalted nuts make me choke!


[Momma sees Larry for the first time]
Momma: Who's this?
Owen: This is Cousin Paddy. He's coming to stay with us a while. Isn't that nice?
Momma: [suspiciously] You don't *have* a "Cousin Paddy".
Owen: [to Larry] You lied to me!
[Owen knocks Larry out with a frying pan to the head]


Owen: Momma! You're alive!
[to police]
Owen: Old people - you have to reassure them.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094142/quotes?qt=qt0314151 ” - VideoJordan
Midnight Run (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
An accountant is chased by bounty hunters, the FBI, and the Mafia after jumping bail. (126 mins.)
Director: Martin Brest
“ Got to be my beloved ‘Midnight Run’ . Jack and ‘The Duke’ end up on a train because…

Jonathan Mardukas: I can't fly.
Jack Walsh: What?
Jonathan Mardukas: You heard me, I can't fly.
Jack Walsh: No, no, no. You're going to have to do better than that, pal.
Jonathan Mardukas: No, I don't have to do better than that, because it's the truth, I can't fly: I suffer from aviaphobia.
Jack Walsh: What does that mean?
Jonathan Mardukas: It means I can't fly. I also suffer from acrophobia and claustrophobia.
Jack Walsh: I'll tell you what: if you don't cooperate, you're gonna suffer from "fistophobia". ” - VideoJordan
The Cassandra Crossing (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Passengers on a European train have been exposed to a deadly disease. Nobody will let them off the train so what happens next? (129 mins.)
“ I’m not very good at these - I still can’t narrow them down to one.

It’s either The Cassandra Crossing (1976), or an episode of the surreal 70’s TV series, "Sapphire & Steel" (1979) {The Railway Station} which has stuck with me vividly since I saw it (and was terrified by it) as a kid. Hmm, maybe ‘permanently scarred by’ doesn’t equate to ‘favourite’. ” - VideoJordan
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks. (216 mins.)
Director: David Lean
“ I’d have to say the train attack scene from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056172, especially
the shot where Lawrence walks along the top of the carriages and the camera shows his shadow
on the sand apparently leading the arabs – this is arguably the symbolic heart of the film. Are they
following an illusion? As Lean himself voices over at the end of the first half, “Who are you?”

Alternatively, I’ve always fancied arriving in Italy the way Brian Dennehy’s architect does in
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092637 (how many people will get that reference ;-) ” - VideoJordan
From Russia with Love (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
James Bond willingly falls into an assassination ploy involving a naive Russian beauty in order to retrieve a Soviet encryption device that was stolen by SPECTRE. (115 mins.)
Director: Terence Young
“ One of the most memorable scenes on a train for me is Donald Grant (Robert Shaw)’s fight with James Bond (Sean Connery) in FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE

It was the first fight sequence I remember when it wasn’t just a sort of a symbolic swinging of fists until the good guy wins and the bad guy gets his comeuppance. These guys fought dirty – with their nails, teeth, elbows. And the whole thing looked painful. Made me realize that if you’re someone like James Bond, you could actually get really hurt! Ouch! Then Grant attempts to strangle Bond with the wire in his watch and Bond stabs him with a dagger. And they pretty much destroy a very well-appointed train carriage. ” - VideoJordan
Source Code (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A soldier wakes up in someone else's body and discovers he's part of an experimental government program to find the bomber of a commuter train. A mission he has only 8 minutes to complete. (93 mins.)
Director: Duncan Jones
“ Source Code (2011) is probably 90% train travel, with many great moments to relish. My favourite train scenes are those later journeys where Colter Stevens knows the setup so well that he can pre-empt, predict and prevent mundane events on the train (drink spills, incoming calls, etc). Makes me smile :) ” - VideoJordan
Runaway Train (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Two escaped convicts and a female railway worker find themselves trapped on a train with no brakes and nobody driving. (111 mins.)
“ Runaway Train (if only for the ending. Also: first credited Danny Trejo role!)

Definitely a big + 1 for Runaway Train. Eric Roberts was so good it hurt.
Ooohh, and then remember how cold his hands got. My fingers ache now remembering that that. ” - VideoJordan
Stand by Me (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
After the death of a friend, a writer recounts a boyhood journey to find the body of a missing boy. (89 mins.)
Director: Rob Reiner
“ + a lot for ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’. No other train film comes close, in my mind.

However, the first films that popped into my head were:
--Stand By Me: oh, Vern…
--The Lady Vanishes
--The General
--Trading Places: I think his role as Baggage Handler #1 will be Al Franken’s true legacy http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086465/quotes?qt=qt0513767 ” - VideoJordan
North by Northwest (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive. (136 mins.)
“ +1 to all of this.

Also, North by Northwest train sequence is perfection. ” - VideoJordan
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
When Dr. Henry Jones Sr. suddenly goes missing while pursuing the Holy Grail, eminent archaeologist Indiana Jones must follow in his father's footsteps to stop the Nazis from getting their hands on the Holy Grail first. (127 mins.)
“ There’s a great train sequence at the beginning of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. ” - VideoJordan
It Happened One Night (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A spoiled heiress running away from her family is helped by a man who is actually a reporter in need of a story. (105 mins.)
Director: Frank Capra
“ I’ll go with It Happened One Night.

A true classic! ” - VideoJordan
Young Frankenstein (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An American grandson of the infamous scientist, struggling to prove that he is not as insane as people believe, is invited to Transylvania, where he discovers the process that reanimates a dead body. (106 mins.)
Director: Mel Brooks
“ Two words: Young Frankenstein.


Taffeta, darling...
Taffeta, sweetheart. ” - VideoJordan
The Golden Girls (1985 TV Series)
Episode: Yokel Hero (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Rose is nominated for the St. Olaf Woman of the Year award, while Blanche and Dorothy embellish her accomplishments on her entry form. (30 mins.)
“ Favorite TV Train Scene comes from the Golden Girls - Season Four - Episode Yokel Hero. The Golden Girls are on a train to St. Olaf and Rose is telling a story about how people disappear in the tunnel they are about to go through. The train goes through and everything goes black, and when they come through, Sofia is gone, so they all freak out. Then you hear an off-screen toilet flush, and Sofia proclaim that is where she is. ” - VideoJordan
Some Like It Hot (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
When two male musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all-female band disguised as women, but further complications set in. (121 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
“ Favorite Train Movie – Some Like It Hot one of my favorite movies. You can watch the entire movie on IMDb! Quote: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053291/quotes?qt=qt0284516

and this movie also has one of my favourite trivia points: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053291/trivia?tr=tr0755432 ” - VideoJordan
The Red Shoes (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A young ballet dancer is torn between the man she loves and her pursuit to become a prima ballerina. (134 mins.)
“ I adore the climactic scene from The Red Shoes. So sad, but so pretty. ” - VideoJordan
The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A year after their father's funeral, three brothers travel across India by train in an attempt to bond with each other. (91 mins.)
Director: Wes Anderson
“ Many of mine have already been mentioned, but other not-so-distant faves include:

The Darjeeling Limited

The Bridge on the River Kwai
http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi4120970009/ (major spoiler alert, this is final scene)

There Will Be Blood
http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi1291649305/ ” - VideoJordan
Risky Business (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A Chicago teenager is looking for fun at home while his parents are away, but the situation quickly gets out of hand. (99 mins.)
Director: Paul Brickman
“ Does a subway train count? If so, I’ve got to put my vote in for the steamy Tom Cruise & Rebecca De Mornay scene in Risky Business

And on the more standard train front, The Darjeeling Limited

which has notably beautiful train interiors:
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm4177434880/tt0838221 ” - VideoJordan
The American Friend (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Tom Ripley, who deals in forged art, suggests a picture framer he knows would make a good hit man. (125 mins.)
Director: Wim Wenders
“ I like fight scenes set on trains so my first pick would have to be be From Russia With Love (1963). However, since someone else already picked it, instead I’ll choose a thriller based on a Patricia Highsmith nove and, featuring a suspenseful scene set on a train. No, not Strangers on a Train:

The American Friend (1977) (also my favorite Wim Wenders film).

The same book was later filmed again as Ripley’s Game (2002) with John Malkovich as Tom Ripley, also featuring the same train setpiece. ” - VideoJordan
Before Sunrise (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A young man and woman meet on a train in Europe, and wind up spending one evening together in Vienna. Unfortunately, both know that this will probably be their only night together. (101 mins.)
“ One of the early romantic movies I remember watching and liking..

Before Sunrise, and its sequel. Reminded me of many a train trip through Europe. ” - VideoJordan
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
When Raj meets Simran in Europe, it isn't love at first sight but when Simran moves to India for an arranged marriage, love makes its presence felt. (189 mins.)
Director: Aditya Chopra
“ Indian movie: Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge ” - VideoJordan
Six Shooter (2004 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A black and bloody Irish comedy about a sad train journey where an older man, whose wife has died that morning, encounters a strange and possibly psychotic young oddball.... (27 mins.)
Director: Martin McDonagh
“ Going to go a little pretentious here, a short that reminds somewhat of http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0030341 (in that film, when the uncoupled carriage slows and stops in the woods is when things ratcheted up for me) which would have been my first choice.

you really can’t go wrong with this guy: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0322407/ ” - VideoJordan
The Fugitive (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Dr. Richard Kimble, unjustly accused of murdering his wife, must find the real killer while being the target of a nationwide manhunt lead by a seasoned US Marshall. (130 mins.)
Director: Andrew Davis
“ Because this is where it all begins! Man I love this movie.

“The bus crashes through a guardrail, rolls down a hill, and lands on a set of train tracks. The light from an approaching train appears, and Kimble manages to pull himself and the stabbed guard to safety before train rams the bus.” ” - VideoJordan
I Love Lucy (1951 TV Series)
Episode: First Stop (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
The when the gang is traveling through Ohio, the stop at a diner and motel run by a man who takes advantage of them. (30 mins.)
“ Sorry sorry, but there is ONE more. This is one of my all-time favorites. ” - VideoJordan
Inception (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
A thief, who steals corporate secrets through use of dream-sharing technology, is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO. (148 mins.)
“ I don't know if I'm stretching it, but I'm going to have to go with the repeated train motif in Inception.

Mal: I'll tell you a riddle. You're waiting for a train, a train that will take you far away. You know where you hope this train will take you, but you don't know for sure. But it doesn't matter. How can it not matter to you where that train will take you?
- http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1375666/quotes?qt=qt1233548 ” - VideoJordan
The Wild Wild West (1965 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Two Secret Services agents, equipped with a wide array of gizmos, work for the government in the Old West. (50 mins.)
“ +1 for Once Upon a Time in the West as my favorite.

There have not been many TV shows mentioned, so I'm going to also give a shout for The Wild Wild West. ” - VideoJordan
Transsiberian (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A Trans-Siberian train journey from China to Moscow becomes a thrilling chase of deception and murder when an American couple encounters a mysterious pair of fellow travelers. (111 mins.)
Director: Brad Anderson
“ Not a favorite film by far but definitely for me, a most memorable film featuring a train ” - VideoJordan
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Two Western bank/train robbers flee to Bolivia when the law gets too close. (110 mins.)
Director: George Roy Hill
“ Butch Cassidy: Well, that ought to do it….


Sundance Kid: Think ya used enough dynamite there, Butch? ” - VideoJordan
Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
Casey Ryback hops on a Colorado to LA train to start a vacation with his niece. Early into the trip, terrorists board the train and use it as a mobile HQ to hijack a top secret destructive US satellite. (100 mins.)
Director: Geoff Murphy
“ “I’m just a cook. … A lowly, lowly, cook.”

This features one of my favourite before-they-were-famous appearances … remember that Casey Rybeck (Steven Seagal) is travelling with his niece, Sarah? Well look at the IMDb cast list – Sarah is played by none other than a 16/17 year old http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001337/ . It’s always a good one to share with people because usually they remember the niece but never realise who it was. ” - VideoJordan
Silver Streak (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
On a long-distance train trip, a man finds romance but also finds himself in danger of being killed, or at least pushed off the train. (114 mins.)
Director: Arthur Hiller
“ Silver Streak with Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder. After watching this film I felt like I had taken a major train ride myself. Fun movie. ” - VideoJordan
The Wild Bunch (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An aging group of outlaws look for one last big score as the "traditional" American West is disappearing around them. (135 mins.)
Director: Sam Peckinpah
“ I'm going to have to go with a possible alternate for "best western ever."

The Wild Bunch

This narrowly beats out "Fast Five" for me. ” - VideoJordan
Doctor Zhivago (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The life of a Russian physician and poet who, although married to another, falls in love with a political activist's wife and experiences hardship during the First World War and then the October Revolution. (197 mins.)
Director: David Lean
“ Mine is Doctor Zhivago, when they smack the ice sheet that has formed over the sliding door of their boxcar, revealing the David Lean expanse beyond. ” - VideoJordan
Firefly (2002 TV Series)
Episode: The Train Job (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Mal and his crew pull a train robbery. (44 mins.)
“ +1

You beat me to the punch. Great episode on so many levels. ” - VideoJordan
The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime. (106 mins.)
Director: Tony Scott
“ I can't believe I forgot these two, as a New Yorker:

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009)

Actually shot on the NY subway tracks. The blu-ray has some great "making of" videos. Not a bad NY action movie, despite some major errors in geography (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1111422/goofs).

And of course the original from 1974, starring Walter Matthau:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072251/ ” - VideoJordan
The Wrong Trousers (1993 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Wallace is used by a criminal penguin in a robbery involving mechanical trousers. (30 mins.)
Director: Nick Park
“ I love this short. And I have a train crazy 3 year old boy. The innocent but high suspense action of the toy train chase scene was just perfect. It had my little boy cracking up constantly. The train scene even pulled off the Looney Tunes 'laying the track as the train moves' gag. ” - VideoJordan
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
In the deep south during the 1930s, three escaped convicts search for hidden treasure while a relentless lawman pursues them. (107 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
“ I would add O Brother, Where Art Thou? as my contribution to the list. "Say, any of you boys smithies? Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts..." ” - VideoJordan
Toy Story 3 (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
The toys are mistakenly delivered to a day-care center instead of the attic right before Andy leaves for college, and it's up to Woody to convince the other toys that they weren't abandoned and to return home. (103 mins.)
Director: Lee Unkrich
“ You missed off Toy Story 3... the opening scene :) ” - VideoJordan
Carlito's Way (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A Puerto Rican former convict, just released from prison, pledges to stay away from drugs and violence despite the pressure around him and lead on to a better life outside of N.Y.C. (144 mins.)
Director: Brian De Palma
“ Agree with the comment on the link- No Carlitos Way or The Untouchables??? ” - VideoJordan
The Untouchables (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop Al Capone; because of rampant corruption, he assembles a small, hand-picked team. (119 mins.)
Director: Brian De Palma
“ Agree with the comment on the link- No Carlitos Way or The Untouchables??? ” - VideoJordan
Groundhog Day (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A weatherman finds himself inexplicably living the same day over and over again. (101 mins.)
Director: Harold Ramis
“ A different kind of train chase scene. :)

Josiah Sillavan ·
No ‘GROUNDHOG DAY’ ? …… wink emoticon wink emoticon wink emoticon
You MUST add that!!! ” - VideoJordan