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The Train
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The Train (1964) More at IMDbPro »

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The Train -- In 1944, a German colonel loads a train with French art treasures to send to Germany. The Resistance must stop it without damaging the cargo.


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Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Franklin Coen (screen story) and
Frank Davis (screen story) ...
View company contact information for The Train on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 March 1965 (USA) See more »
It carried their hopes, their nation's honour!
In 1944, a German colonel loads a train with French art treasures to send to Germany. The Resistance must stop it without damaging the cargo. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Catch the Train See more (121 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Burt Lancaster ... Labiche

Paul Scofield ... Von Waldheim

Jeanne Moreau ... Christine
Suzanne Flon ... Mlle Villard

Michel Simon ... Papa Boule

Wolfgang Preiss ... Herren
Albert Rémy ... Didont (as Albert Remy)
Charles Millot ... Pesquet
Richard Münch ... Von Lubitz (as Richard Munch)
Jacques Marin ... Jacques
Paul Bonifas ... Spinet
Jean Bouchaud ... Schmidt
Donald O'Brien ... Schwartz (as Donal O'Brien)
Jean-Pierre Zola ... Octave
Arthur Brauss ... Pilzer (as Art Brauss)
Jean-Claude Bercq ... Major (as Jean-Claude Berco)
Howard Vernon ... Dietrich
Louis Falavigna ... Railroad Worker
Richard Bailey ... Grote
Christian Fuin ... Robert
Helmo Kindermann ... Ordnance Officer
Roger Lumont ... Engineer Officer

Gérard Buhr ... Corporal (as Gerard Buhr)
Christian Rémy ... Tauber (as Christian Remy)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Victor Beaumont ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Jacques Blot ... Hubert (uncredited)
Michel Charrel ... Bit Part (uncredited)

Nick Dimitri ... German Soldier (uncredited)
Max Fromm ... Gestapo Officer (uncredited)
Bernard La Jarrige ... Bernard - Doctor (uncredited)
Jean-Jacques Leconte ... Lieutenant of Retreating Convoy (uncredited)
Daniel Lecourtois ... Priest (uncredited)
Wolfgang Sauer ... Bit Part (uncredited)

Directed by
John Frankenheimer 
Arthur Penn (uncredited; fired, replaced by John Frankenheimer)
Writing credits
Franklin Coen (screen story) and
Frank Davis (screen story)

Franklin Coen (screenplay) and
Frank Davis (screenplay)

Rose Valland (book "Le front de l'art")

Walter Bernstein  uncredited
Howard Dimsdale  uncredited
Albert Husson  French version (uncredited)
Nedrick Young  uncredited

Produced by
Jules Bricken .... producer
Bernard Farrel .... associate producer
Original Music by
Maurice Jarre 
Cinematography by
Jean Tournier (photographed by)
Walter Wottitz (photographed by)
Film Editing by
David Bretherton 
Gabriel Rongier (uncredited)
Production Design by
Willy Holt 
Makeup Department
Georges Bouban .... makeup artist
Production Management
Serge LeBeau .... unit manager (as Serge Lebeau)
Robert Velin .... production manager
Art Department
Marc Frédérix .... assistant production designer (as Marc Frederix)
Roger Volper .... assistant production designer
Sound Department
Jacques Carrère .... sound re-recordist
Joseph de Bretagne .... sound (as Joseph De Bretagne)
Jacques Maumont .... sound re-recordist
Special Effects by
Lee Zavitz .... special effects
Visual Effects by
Jean Fouchet .... optical effects (as Jean Fouchet F.L)
Steven Burnett .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
André Domage .... camera operator
Vincent Rossell .... still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Jean Zay .... wardrobe
Music Department
Maurice Jarre .... conductor
Other crew
Jules Bricken .... presenter
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"John Frankenheimer's The Train" - USA (complete title)
See more »
133 min | UK:140 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Did You Know?

According to the book the 'Variety Movie Guide', this movie was "Made in French and English in France, it was entirely lensed in real exteriors with unlimited access to old French rolling stock of the last war."See more »
Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Labiche and his men are discovered painting white on the tops of the train cars carrying the stolen art, a German soldier runs at them firing his machine gun. The muzzle flashes but there is no matching machine gun sounds. Only a few single shots and some yelling and the siren are heard.See more »
Labiche:Thank you.
Christine:I don't want your thanks. If they'd caught me helping you, I would have been shot.
Labiche:I know. I'm sorry.
Christine:You think you can just run in and out of here and make trouble? I run a hotel, not a madhouse. Who's going to pay for the door? Who's going to pay for the lock? Do you think money grows on trees?
Labiche:There's a war...
Christine:You talk about the war. I talk about what it costs!
Labiche:I'll be leaving in a few hours. You can go back to your good customers.
Christine:They pay. That's what I'm in business for.
Labiche:You should be paid. How much for the damage?
Christine:One hundred francs.
See more »
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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
Catch the Train, 8 October 2007
Author: spelvini ( from New York City

A gripping high-contrast black and white film from 1965 The Train, directed by John Frankenheimer pays off in every way. Shot on location in France, there is not a mundane moment in the 133-minute movie.

The Train has as its central conflict the combating wills of a German Officer and middle class worker and these two characters represent the battle between France and Germany during World War Two.

Frankenheimer's direction and coverage of the action is stunning with deep focus night shots, and airplane shots, and multi-camera action, particularly the bombing of a train station with many locomotives going up in smoke. This particular scene is one of the highlights that the director talks about on the commentary track on the DVD.

Nominated for Best Original Screenplay the story in the Train is intelligently simple, focusing on characterization as the basis of the conflict. All of the action follows from the desire of the main players in the story, and although there is a good guy and a bad guy, there are no pure motives. Every character justifies what he does convincingly.

Col. Waldheim wants to take the paintings back to Germany so that the American bombs do not destroy them, whereas Labiche is interested in stopping the train of paintings mainly as a kick in the groin to German political intentions.

It is the rationale of each character that determines where our sympathies lie. We are shown the Germans through Waldheim as lovers of culture but cruel and insensitive to human emotions. We see the French through Labiche as simple, honest hard-working people and their art as an extension of their humanity.

Walter Bernstein, screenwriter for The Train as well as Yanks, understood how this character-driven action psychologically affects and involves the viewer. By having Waldheim voice his emotions in taking the art, and having Labiche voice his determination, the script affects us viscerally by our identification with each character at different levels.

The great high contrast black and white print really allows the drama to come through in the actioner. In more than one instance the stolen art is spoken of as the great treasures of France. Ironically the art in the movie shown in black and white in the first scene is never shown again only spoken of and this makes it a living thing in the characters minds and our own as well.

It is the black and white print used in many night scenes showing simple action that creates such a compelling tale of Labiche and his ability to out-wit the General Waldheim, and divert the paintings of Henri Matisse, Paul Gauguin, and other artists from being commandeered by the Germans.

Burt Lancaster shows his stuff doing many of his own stunts. The guy was 50 years old when he made this movie! We see the actor fall from trains, slide down ladders, lift large train mechanisms from an Iron-working smelting shop, and climb up and down mountains, actions even the heartiest Baby Boomer will marvel at.

Lancaster's acting is perfectly pitched for the movie. At one point I wondered why there wasn't a French actor in the role, considering that Labiche is a French man but the American accent doesn't really distract.

Scofield as the German General in charge of the train is English and his accent doesn't distract either. In both cases the attitude of the actor is what makes the role successful and each is perfectly cast.

The support cast is excellent and work from a well-written script. Jeanne Moreau as Christine the hotel owner exhibits a combination of brittle emotions ranging from anger to suspicion to forgiveness to affection.

Michel Simon as Papa Boule who cripples the art train out of spite for the Germans has one moment when he speaks about a former girlfriend that opens a light on the sensitivity of this otherwise irascible old man.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Train (1964)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Colonel Von Waldheim's last speech bobo-29
The Engine Repair Chris398
The circular journey the Train makes. eandtslattery
Unnecessary Destruction of France's railway heritage. de_niro_2001
Remake steve_vanes
Station Signs- Possible Spoiler danashley
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