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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 <email@example.com>
Actor Jon Voight was persuaded to take the lead role of convict Manny by director Andrey Konchalovskiy. Voight had thought that the character was "all wrong" for him until Konchalovsky advised Voight that the best villains in movies are "actors who play against type". Voight ended up winning the Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama award for this film. See more »
When the prison guard from the helicopter lands on the train and crashes through the train window and falls off the train he is not wearing his goggles. In the next shot, when he is getting run over by the train wheels, he is wearing the goggles. See more »
Please try again. And I'll send you out of here in plastic!
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The stock title promises action and suspense, and we get that, but with a story by Akira Kurosawa, expert direction by Russian émigré Andrei Konchalovsky and superior lensing by Alan Hume, we get a study of what defines a man.
John Voight and the vastly underrated Eric Roberts play two cons who escape from a hellish gulag and board a train with no driver. Their struggle to stop the train and battle their own inner demons is the movie.
Konchalovsky creates a cold, alien, ethereal world inside the train that, in the oddest way, provides a haven for self-examination for the two leads. Rebecca de Mournay is layered into the mix, as is the indefatigable John P. Ryan as a prison warden who risks death to return his charges to custody, but the movie belongs to Voight and Roberts who both bring tremendous humanity to their finely sketched characters.
The final image is as powerful as cinema gets and marks RUNAWAY TRAIN as a modest masterpiece.
Though often criticized for producing cheap rubbish, the Cannon Group, in fact, also produced many fine films including this, 52 PICK-UP and MARIA'S LOVERS (also Konchalovsky).
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