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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
When the train is to resume its journey from Rive-Reine after the engine failure, Waldheim knows he must wait for nightfall before it can safely leave. Sunset on August 5, 1944, would be at 9:20 pm, but he sets its departure time at 7 pm. Yet when the train leaves it is dark. See more »
[The tracks are being cleared after the deliberate wreck.]
Colonel von Waldheim:
I asked for two cranes.
It took an order from staff headquarters to get this one. With von Runstedt falling back, the army has other uses for railway equipment.
Colonel von Waldheim:
All von Runstedt can lose is men. This train is more valuable.
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This is truly one of the great action/adventure war films. The Train is filled with action and edge-of-your-seat suspense. Lancaster is superb as the everyman Labiche. It is a tough and gritty performance. Scofield is equally good as the obsessive Colonel. The theme of human lives versus art is well explored by Frankenheimer. Watch this film and enjoy. It gets better with repeated viewings.
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