A district attorney investigates the racially charged case of three teenagers accused of the murder of a blind Puerto Rican boy. He begins to discover that the facts in the case aren't ... See full summary »
Ralph and Annabell Willart are a feuding couple who are constantly bickering over their worthless, good-for nothing son Berry-Berry. When Berry-Berry begins yet another meaningless love ... See full summary »
Eva Marie Saint,
Lt. Commander Finchhaven, a ghostly relic from the First World War, he had fallen down dead drunk on his first assignment and been consigned from the great beyond to sail the seas until a ... See full summary »
A cop is gunned down on Xmas eve. Jerry Beck, the homicide cop given the job of hunting the killer, investigates some leads which bring him into contact with a group of white supremacy ... See full summary »
Penelope Ann Miller,
As the Allied forces approach Paris in August 1944, German Colonel Von Waldheim is desperate to take all of France's greatest paintings to Germany. He manages to secure a train to transport the valuable art works even as the chaos of retreat descends upon them. The French resistance however wants to stop them from stealing their national treasures but have received orders from London that they are not to be destroyed. The station master, Labiche, is tasked with scheduling the train and making it all happen smoothly but he is also part of a dwindling group of resistance fighters tasked with preventing the theft. He and others stage an elaborate ruse to keep the train from ever leaving French territory. Written by
Burt Lancaster performs all of his own stunts in this movie. Albert Rémy also gets into the act by performing the stunt of uncoupling the engine from the art train on a real moving train. See more »
In the bar, when Papa Boule approaches the counter to pay the bill, he leans the left hand on the counter. In the subsequent shot his left hand is by his side, with his thumb in his pocket. See more »
London agrees the art is important. Anything we can do to save it... but they leave it up to us.
Why not? What can they lose? This morning we had four men left in this group. Now we have three. One, two, three.
We started with eighteen. Like your paintings, mademoiselle, we couldn't replace them. For certain things we take the risk, but I won't waste lives on paintings.
They wouldn't be wasted! Excuse me, I know that's a terrible thing to say. But those paintings are part of France. ...
[...] See more »
A Different Kind Of WWII Movie, And One Of The Best
This is one of my all-time favorite war movies, always rated in the top three since I first saw it years ago. I rate it so high because of four main things:
1 - Wonderful black-and-white photography; 2 - an interesting cast led by two great actors, Burt Lancaster and Paul Scofield; 3 - An intelligent, different kind of war story revolving around stolen works of great art; 4 - Just the right amount of action.
Not only the blacks-and-whites look good but the grays, too. The nighttime train shots with the white steam coming out is just spectacular. You can feel the grease and grime on these railroad men as the work on the train. The person best exemplifying that is the Frenchman Michel Simon who plays "Papa Boule," the engineer who begins the train trip and then is shot after being discovered sabotaging it. What a great face this man had! He, Lancaster and other grimy railroad men with soot all over their faces give this a real authentic feel. Most of the cast is either French or German but if you have a hard time understanding a few lines, you can put on the English subtitles if you are playing the DVD.
This is a pretty long film but it doesn't have many lulls, especially the train starts to roll. I have viewed this a number of times and have never been disappointed with it. Director John Frankenheimer gives some interesting commentary on this, too, so you might to check that out on the disc.
32 of 41 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?