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A hardened convict and a younger prisoner escape from a brutal prison in the middle of winter only to find themselves on an out-of-control train with a female railway worker while being pursued by the vengeful head of security. Written by
Keith Loh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Akira Kurosawa co-wrote the original script and planned to direct it in upstate New York. The project was cancelled because the snowstorms were so bad, his crew could not work. Originally, the character played by Jon Voight was a convicted killer, but writer and ex-con Edward Bunker changed him to a safe cracker because he felt the other prisoners would not respect a killer. See more »
A number of shots of running wheels below the train (including the part where Manny is being dragged underneath the train) are filmed with unpowered wagons and not powered locomotive axles. See more »
Boy, I guess you guys picked the wrong train.
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Rule #1 for breaking out: Make sure you have a ride
Manny and Buck have just broken out of prison and have stowed away on a four-car locomotive in Alaska. Problem is, the engineer died of a heart attack as the train was departing the station and fell off - so now they're all alone on this train, careening through the wilderness over 80 miles per hour, with no way to stop it. Sound like fun to you? It's a rare action movie, one that basically takes place on one location (the train). But it's amazingly suspenseful, too, as railroad officials (who don't know of their stowaways) try to find ways to stop the unstoppable vehicle (shades of "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three"). Jon Voight plays Manny, the experienced jailbreaker, grizzled, ornery, obnoxious, but revered by his fellow prisoners. Eric Roberts plays Buck, the young, cocky, dimwitted tough guy who respects Manny and looks to him as the voice of reason. Also thrown into the mix is Sara (Rebecca De Mornay), a railroad worker who was taking a catnap when the runaway train started its journey. How will these three people stop the train? How, indeed! You know, for a movie taking place on a train, there are plenty of harrowing scenes, and there's hardly a dull or listless moment. Problem is, you don't really know who to root for, and there are spots late in the movie where characters change drastically, a sure casualty of a choppy script. But hey, why quibble? If you're looking for an unusual action movie, here it is!
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