One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. Its initial television broadcasts took place in Milwaukee Tuesday 28 April on WITI (Channel 6), in Pittsburgh 23 September 1959 on KDKA (Channel 2), in Omaha 13 November 1959 on KETV (Channel 7), in Toledo 16 November 1959 on WTOL Channel 11), in Johnstown 24 November 1959 on WJAC (Channel 6), and in Los Angeles 6 February 1960 on KNXT (Channel 2). It was released on DVD 8 July 2016 as part of the Universal Vault Series. See more »
Seeing this film over 75 years after it came out you had to wonder about how Hollywood treated this film as history. During the time we cannot tell who's occupying Madrid and who's being a traitor to who. That word is flung about in The Last Train To Madrid. But if you know nothing about the Spanish Civil War you would not know it was the Loyalists that occupied Madrid. Loyalists/Republicans held the Spanish capital and two years later the surrender of Madrid signaled the end of the War in a Nationalist triumph. Two years after this film was seen by our movie-going public.
In 1936 the war started as a revolt of the army against the duly elected Republican government. It is discussed by historians to this day as to whether they were justified. But they did it and when Lionel Atwill calls Anthony Quinn a traitor I'm not sure who was betraying what. Part of the plot calls for Quinn to aid his old friend Gilbert Roland who's with the other side escape Madrid. But I can only guest that Atwill is part of the army Nationalist Revolt and Quinn has betrayed it and Roland even more so by being loyal to the Spanish Republic.
The Last Train From Madrid has the city besieged and there will be a last train going out before the tracks are destroyed. Passes will be issued on a limited basis and they become as valued as those famous Letters of Transit in Casablanca. The film is the story of those trying to leave Madrid and how successful they are.
A bit of Grand Hotel, a bit of Shanghai Express is the best way to describe this film. It would rate higher with me if it was more explicit.
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