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It is during the great depression in the US, and the land is full of people who are now homeless. Those people, commonly called "hobos", are truly hated by Shack (Borgnine), a sadistical railway conductor who swore that no hobo will ride his train for free. Well, no-one but "A" Number One (Lee Marvin), who is ready to put his life at stake to become a local legend - as the first person who survived the trip on Shack's notorious train. Written by
Brian Peterson firstname.lastname@example.org
The film gives dates in late October of 1933 (hobos writing on the water towers). However the Willamette Valley, Oregon setting shown extensively in the movie indicates midsummer. The sun's angle is high and the deciduous trees are quite green, yet the grass is dry yellow which would make it more like mid July. See more »
Ernest Borgnine was superb as the murderous railroad agent intent on keeping a legendary hobo off his train. Lee Marvin gave one of his best performances as A#1, the hobo's hobo, who is equally set on riding the rails on Borgnine's unrideable #19. Keith Carradine almost stole the show as a useless, me first punk out to prove his manhood in the harsh hobo camps. Very realistic looking sets and the entire film captured the flavor of the depression era perfectly. 4 stars.
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