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Von Ryan's Express (1965)

Unrated  |   |  Action, Adventure, War  |  23 June 1965 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 9,508 users  
Reviews: 66 user | 39 critic

An American POW leads a group of mainly British prisoners to escape from the Germans in WWII.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Col. Joseph L. Ryan
Major Eric Fincham
Raffaella Carrà ...
Gabriella (as Raffaella Carra)
Sgt. Bostick
Capt. Oriani
Major Von Klemment
Private Ames
John Van Dreelen ...
Col. Gortz (as John van Dreelen)
Italian Train Engineer
Richard Bakalyan ...
Corporal Giannini
Captain Stein
Michael St. Clair ...
Sgt. Dunbar


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 Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

escape | italy | colonel | running | prison | See All (67) »


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 »


Action | Adventure | War


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

23 June 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El expreso de Von Ryan  »

Box Office


$5,760,000 (estimated)


ESP 29,721,662 (Spain)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)| (DVD release)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The cast features 3 stars who had UK chart hits. Frank Sinatra, John Leyton and Raffaella Carrà (who charted in 1978 with "Do It, Do It Again"). See more »


When preparing the replacement orders to direct the train, Ryan reads the name "Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm von Kleist" from a printed form. Later in the movie, at von Kleist's HQ, the same title appears on his office door. However, a subsequent shot of the form shows only the rank (Obergruppenfuhrer [sic]) and the last name (von Kleist) of the signatory. There would be no way for Ryan to know the officer's first name. There are a number of errors here. Firstly, Obergruppenfuhrer was an SS rank. Von Kleist was a Wehrmacht (army) officer and would never be referred to using an SS rank. His correct rank in 1943 was Generalfeldmarschall (field marshal). Secondly, Field Marshal von Kleist's first name was Paul, not Wilhelm. Thirdly, in 1943 von Kleist was the commander of Army Group A in the Caucasus (on the Russian front), not the general staff. See more »


Maj. Eric Fincham: It would take you too long to strangle a man Colonel. The average Nazi would get impatient while you were doing it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Satisfying WW II yarn
15 August 1999 | by (Victoria, BC) – See all my reviews

"Von Ryan's Express" is overall a satisfying WW II actioner. The movie is long but never boring, there's some excitement and suspense, and some action.

The only problems I found with the movie is that the above is at the expense of characters - not enough time is given to these characters, so we don't have as much of a personal stake - so whether the characters live or die doesn't matter as much as it could have. Also, some of the special effects, even for 1965, are somewhat embarrassing.

It's still a good movie, and it's worth watching - it's just not the classic it could have been.

13 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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