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 »
As the runaway train passes by Pulasky's post it is clearly visible that there is almost no snow around the tracks. In the next shot, which shows the locomotive's burning brakes and Pulasky's attempt to lift a hot piece of debris from the brakes, the ground is covered with deep snow. See more »
[after Manny says he will jump from the moving train]
If you jump here, you're gonna break every bone in your body, and then what?
They been broke before.
See more »
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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