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>
The name of the penitentiary and its location was also the film's opening title which states: "Stonehaven Maximum Security Prison - Alaska, USA". See more »
The close-up shot of the engineer as he falls off the locomotive is accidentally (or deliberately) flipped horizontally, which creates a false impression that the engineer falls off the walkway opposite to the one he is actually seen falling off. See more »
Runaway Train is about far more than a runaway train. It is about personal freedom and how hard we are willing to struggle to get it. It's about how willing we are to give up our personal freedom to be comfortable. It's about dehumanization inflicted by social institutions. It's also one gripping, suspenseful action-flick. The two main characters, played by Jon Voight as Manny and Eric Roberts as Buck, are escaped prisoners, but they are humanized. Not that we would really like to meet them, but we can see how they work, and we can identify with them. I found it fascinating that the character I really hated was John P. Ryan as Renkin, the warden. This official of society has turned his efforts to recapture the prisoners, particularly Manny, into a personal mission of hatred. The cinematography and imagery in the film are excellent. Whether exterior shots of the train hurtling across the desolate Canadian wilderness, or claustrophobic shots of the characters in the train, we are there and cannot help but be involved. There's not a bad performance in it. John Voight, Eric Roberts, Rebecca De Mornay and John P. Ryan are all tremendous, with an intensity that matches the demands of the film. This is one of those few films that really disturbed me, that really caused me to think about my life. It is unforgettable. It is a great work of art.
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