IMDb > Von Ryan's Express (1965)
Von Ryan's Express
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Von Ryan's Express (1965) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.1/10   10,569 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 48% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
David Westheimer (novel)
Wendell Mayes (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Von Ryan's Express on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 June 1965 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Why did 600 Allied prisoners hate the man they called Von Ryan more than they hated Hitler? See more »
Plot:
An American POW leads a group of mainly British prisoners to escape from the Germans in WWII. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(6 articles)
Seinfeld Star Abercrombie Dead At 77
 (From WENN. 28 January 2012, 6:01 AM, PST)

Train movies: is there anything more preposterous?
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 9 December 2010, 1:59 PM, PST)

Jay’s Year Of Movie Watching
 (From FilmJunk. 9 March 2010, 7:14 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
"If only one gets out, it's a victory." See more (74 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Frank Sinatra ... Col. Joseph L. Ryan

Trevor Howard ... Major Eric Fincham

Raffaella Carrà ... Gabriella (as Raffaella Carra)

Brad Dexter ... Sgt. Bostick

Sergio Fantoni ... Capt. Oriani

John Leyton ... Orde

Edward Mulhare ... Costanzo

Wolfgang Preiss ... Major Von Klemment

James Brolin ... Private Ames

John Van Dreelen ... Col. Gortz (as John van Dreelen)

Adolfo Celi ... Battaglia

Vito Scotti ... Italian Train Engineer

Richard Bakalyan ... Corporal Giannini

Michael Goodliffe ... Captain Stein
Michael St. Clair ... Sgt. Dunbar
Ivan Triesault ... Von Kleist
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Ian Abercrombie ... English POW (uncredited)

William Berger ... Man from the Gestapo (uncredited)
Arthur Brauss ... Lt. Gertel--German Mess Officer (uncredited)
William Conroy ... German Soldier (uncredited)
John Daheim ... American Soldier (uncredited)
Domenick Delgarde ... Italian Soldier (uncredited)
Horst Ebersberg ... German Pilot (uncredited)
Barry Ford ... Ransom's Batman (uncredited)
Brian Gaffikin ... English Voices (voice) (uncredited)

Donald F. Glut ... P.O.W. (uncredited)
Gino Gottarelli ... Gotrz's Aide #2 (uncredited)

Joe Gray ... Prisoner (uncredited)
Peter Hellman ... Pilot (uncredited)

Robert 'Buzz' Henry ... American Soldier (uncredited)
Walter Linden ... German Captain (uncredited)
Eric Micklewood ... Ransom (uncredited)
John Mitory ... Oriani's Aide (uncredited)
Ernesto Molinari ... Italian Tailor (uncredited)

Paul Muller ... Hauptmann Josef Sonneberg (uncredited)
Benito Prezia ... Italian Corporal (uncredited)
Christopher Riordan ... Nude P.O.W. (uncredited)

Michael Romanoff ... Italian Nobleman (uncredited)
Bob Rosen ... P.O.W. Who Opens Sweatbox (uncredited)

James Sikking ... American Soldier (uncredited)
Al Silvani ... American P.O.W. at Train Station (uncredited)

Lee Stanley ... English Prisoner (uncredited)
Jacques Stany ... Gortz's Aide (uncredited)
Brad Stevens ... German Sergeant (uncredited)
Max Turilli ... German Officer at Plane Crash Site (uncredited)
Ron Veto ... Italian soldier (uncredited)

Al Wyatt Sr. ... American Soldier (uncredited)

Directed by
Mark Robson 
 
Writing credits
David Westheimer (novel)

Wendell Mayes (screenplay) and
Joseph Landon (screenplay)

Saul David  screenplay (uncredited)
David Westheimer  screenplay (uncredited)

Produced by
Saul David .... producer
Mark Robson .... producer
 
Original Music by
Jerry Goldsmith 
 
Cinematography by
William H. Daniels (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Dorothy Spencer 
 
Art Direction by
Hilyard M. Brown  (as Hilyard Brown)
Jack Martin Smith 
 
Set Decoration by
Raphael Bretton (set decorations) (as Raphael G. Bretton)
Walter M. Scott (set decorations)
 
Makeup Department
Margaret Donovan .... hair stylist
Ben Nye .... makeup artist
José Luis Pérez .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
Roy Stork .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Harry Thomas .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Helen Turpin .... hair stylist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Harry Caplan .... unit production manager (as Harry A. Caplan)
Eduardo García Maroto .... unit production manager: Spain (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Eli Dunn .... assistant director
William Kaplan .... second unit director
 
Art Department
Ed Graves .... assistant art director
Lou Korn .... assistant art director
José Algueró .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Tom Coleman .... property master (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Carlton W. Faulkner .... sound
Elmer Raguse .... sound
William Buffinger .... recordist (uncredited)
Walter Rossi .... sound effects (uncredited)
Don Stern .... sound editor (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Johnny Borgese .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
L.B. Abbott .... special photographic effects
Emil Kosa Jr. .... special photographic effects
 
Stunts
John Daheim .... stunts (uncredited)
Dick Dial .... stunts (uncredited)
Joe Gray .... stunts (uncredited)
Robert 'Buzz' Henry .... stunts (uncredited)
Al Wyatt Sr. .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Harold Lipstein .... second unit photography
Ted Allan .... still photographer (uncredited)
Bill Johnson .... camera operator (uncredited)
A. Lindsley Lane .... camera operator (uncredited)
Lou Pazelli .... grip (uncredited)
Ramiro Sabell .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Mickey Sherrard .... wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Arthur Morton .... orchestrator
Tommy Tedesco .... musician: guitar (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Chris Haynes .... driver (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
117 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System) | Stereo (DVD release)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:G | Australia:PG (TV rating) | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-16 | Iceland:12 | New Zealand:PG | Norway:16 | Norway:11 (DVD rating) (2006) | Sweden:15 | UK:U (original rating) (passed with cuts) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1988) (2002) | USA:Unrated (DVD rating) | USA:Approved (MPAA rating: certificate #20854) | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Trivia:
This movie's opening prologue states: ITALY, AUGUST 1943.

With the Allies poised to strike, the Germans seized control of Italy. So the war-weary Italian nation fought on, a prisoner of the German armies.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: Major Von Klemment uses a shard of glass to cut the rope binding his hands, but the gap in the loosely tied rope is clearly big enough to slip his hand out of it.See more »
Quotes:
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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Rewind This! (2013)See more »

FAQ

Is this movie based on a book?
On which railway line were the action scenes at the end of the movie shot?
How closely does the movie follow the novel?
See more »
54 out of 61 people found the following review useful.
"If only one gets out, it's a victory.", 19 December 2004
Author: farne from England

If you've seen both The Great Escape and The Train, you'll have a rough idea of what to expect from Von Ryan's Express. An American pilot (Frank Sinatra) arrives in an Italian POW camp and finds himself the senior officer, in charge of a motley group of British prisoners under the command of Major Fincham (Trevor Howard). Sinatra and Howard clash, and eventually lead the prisoners in a daring take-over of their German prison train. With the help of a turncoat Italian officer (Sergio Fantoni) they point their loco towards neutral Switzerland.

This is all pretty implausible, but its fairly entertainingly done. Sinatra does well with a surprisingly unsympathetic character, and his tetchy relationship with Howard provides much of the enjoyment of the film. Howard's role is relatively stereotyped, but he's a good enough actor to know this and still make his character believable. Director Mark Robson and his screenwriter Wendell Mayes have an understanding of British army attitudes that's obviously influenced by too many viewings of Bridge on the River Kwai. While Howard is a military martinet and a man of principle, it's Sinatra's practicality and collaboration with the enemy which initially brings the men dividends.

However, Mayes and Robson have ensured that it's not quite as simple as all that and Sinatra is faced with some of the dilemmas of war which were explored a couple of years earlier in The Guns of Navarone, e.g. is it better to shoot an unarmed man or woman and save lives, or let them go and risk the lives of many more? Here though, screenwriter Mayes doesn't offer the easy solutions which undercut The Guns of Navarone. Sinatra's decision to let an Italian officer go free results in the death of some of his own men. Later on he's faced with the choice of shooting an unarmed woman in the back or risk compromising his escape plan.

Unlike some of its contemporaries, Von Ryan's Express isn't afraid to kill off some of its major characters, and this at least stops things from getting too predictable. Although the supporting cast includes Wolfgang Preiss, John Leyton, Michael Goodliffe and Adolfo Celi, only Edward Mulhare, as the British padre who has to impersonate a German officer, gets a chance to really shine.

Like a lot of war films of its era, some of the action scenes aren't all that realistic. When the heroes ambush a platoon of German soldiers in a tunnel, the Germans all collapse decorously to the ground as if they've just fainted. No mangled limbs or hideous death throes. It's one of those films where you suspect the Germans will get up and brush themselves off as soon as the camera stops rolling.

Like The Train though, Von Ryan's Express benefits from using real trains (this time on the Italian railways) and a minimum of model work. This allows it to stand up pretty well for modern audiences. Many of the hazards faced by Sinatra and the others will be fairly familiar to anyone who's seen The Train or Northwest Frontier, but they're all produced with enthusiasm, and handled with some skill, and screenwriter Mayes ensures that there are still a few surprises in store.

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