Runaway Train (1985)

R  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  6 December 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 19,947 users  
Reviews: 143 user | 48 critic

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), 4 more credits »
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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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Once it starts, nothing can stop it! See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 December 1985 (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
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Did You Know?


One of two 1985 pictures starring Eric Roberts first released in that year. The other movie was Dusan Makavejev's The Coca-Cola Kid (1985). See more »


When Manny is being dragged along under the train, the shackle and cable holding the stunt man in place can clearly be seen. See more »


Sara: Boy, I guess you guys picked the wrong train.
See more »


Referenced in Runaway Brain (1995) 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

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User Reviews

Strong contender for the best action movie of all time!
2 February 2004 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

'Runaway Train' is a rare thing, an intelligent action movie, full of both exciting sequences and strong character development. This combination makes it all that much more suspenseful and powerful. For me it could well be the best action movie of all time. Interestingly enough it's based on a screenplay by Kurosawa, but criminal turned novelist Edward Bunker (who plays Jonah here but is best known to most people as Mr. Blue in 'Reservoir Dogs') gets the main writing credit. Jon Voight gives one of his very best performances as Manny, but Eric Roberts is also just great. Roberts is overlooked these days, making too many b-grade and straight-to-video movies to be taken seriously, but boy, back in the day this guy was GOOD! Check him out here, and in 'Star 80', and especially 'The Pope Of Greenwich Village' with Mickey Rourke. Roberts actually scored an Oscar nomination for 'Runaway Train'. Just why his career subsequently went in the direction it did is one of the great mysteries of Hollywood. Voight and Roberts are supported by Rebecca De Mornay, super tough guy John P. Ryan ('It's Alive') and well loved character actor Kenneth McMillan. Also keep an eye out for Danny Trejo in the boxing sequence towards the very beginning of the film. 'Runaway Train' is a movie I never tire of watching. The interplay between Voight and Roberts is wonderful to watch, the action sequences are breathtaking, and the ending is one of the all time greats!

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