Ryan, an American POW, leads his fellow prisoners on a dangerous escape from the Germans in Italy. Having seemingly made errors of judgment, Ryan has to win the support of the mainly British soldiers he is commanding. Written by
The most daring escape ever conceived. It begins at Pescara. It spreads into high adventure as they highjack their own prison train. It shoots past Rome... Florence... Bologna... It hightails into the Majola Pass with Messerschitts in hot pursuit... and makes a final frenzied lunge for Switzerland- and freedom! See more »
As the Padre begins to type the change orders for the train to be re-routed, he says (in German) the date of 11 Sep 1941. The U.S. was not involved in the war until December 1941. The year should have been 1943. See more »
The film credits and all promotion publicity still say "A Cinemascope Picture", and Alfred Newman's "extended" 20th Century-Fox fanfare is still heard on the soundtrack as the picture begins, but most of the film was actually shot in Panavision, at Frank Sinatra's insistence. See more »
It begins slow and gets faster and faster until the end. The color is wonderful and the music from Jerry Goldsmith well tuned to each scene. The screenplay is well adapted and the special effects good executed. The train scenes are very interesting to see and for all old locomotive lovers a must see. I liked the escape by train from south of Italy to the mountains of Switzerland.
I share the opinions on IMDb that Frank Sinatra delivered one of his best performance of his career. Interesting seeing also Wolfgang Preiss that has for me the right profile for a SS. He characterizes in several war movies always a high SS and this in a very believable way. The end therefore was very poor and it seemed to me that they wanted just to stop somewhere the story.
After THE TRAIN with Burt Lancaster and THE GREAT ESCAPE with Steve Mc Queen this is another good adventure war movie to add to my best of DVD collection. If you ask me which one of these three I like the most I would classify it as follows: 1) THE GREAT ESCAPE (read my critic) 2) VON RYAN'S EXPRESS 3) THE TRAIN (black and white, read my critic)
My vote: 7/10 that matches exactly the rating on IMDb.
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