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Runaway Train (1985)

2:37 | Trailer

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Two escaped convicts and a female railway worker find themselves trapped on a train with no brakes and nobody driving.


(as Andrei Konchalovsky)


(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
4,759 ( 957)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Stacey Pickren ...
Walter Wyatt ...
Reid Cruickshanks ...
Al Turner (as Reid Cruikshanks)
Dan Wray ...
Fat Con
Michael Lee Gogin ...
Short Con
John Bloom ...
Tall Con
Old Con (as Norton E. 'Hank' Warden)


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 <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Desperate, And Determined To Survive. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 January 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Escape en tren  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)


$7,936,012 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film is dedicated to the memory of Richard Holley. Helicopter pilot Rick Holley was killed in a helicopter crash during filming. According to the Alaska Rails website, "his helicopter hit a power line in the canyon north of Tunnel Section. This occurred on 9 March 1985 and was listed as "helicopter accident en route to Alaska filming location". See more »


Eastbound 12, the freight train whose caboose is hit by the runaway, is initially being pulled by a single GP40. But it then switches before the collision to a pair of ALCO MRS-1 locomotives, led by #1605. See more »


Jonah: [while talking with Manny about Buck] He's a pretty good youngster. Besides that, he pushes the laundry cart.
[followed by Jonah and Manny laughing out loud]
See more »


Edited into Con Express (2002) See more »


Gloria in D Major
by Antonio Vivaldi (as Vivaldi)
Performed by The USSR Academic Russian Chorus and the Moscow Conservatoire Students Orchestra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Not a Oxymoron! An intellectual action flick!
14 April 1999 | by (Ann Arbor, Michigan) – See all my reviews

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.

87 of 116 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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ATROCIUS Movie pcbluepunk
Why didn't they disconnect the engines? colbent
Amazed how people can find this movie excellent mrh83
"You're Gonna Clean That Spot!" rsr26
Would be much better without Eric Roberts madjohnw
Shoooooooooooes Manny. I need some shooooooooes. smtendick
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