152 user 61 critic

Runaway Train (1985)

2:37 | Trailer

On Disc

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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 »
3,168 ( 1,815)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »





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
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


The Ride Of Your Death... 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)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,601,480, 6 December 1985, Wide Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The only film that year nominated for Best Motion Picture Drama at the Golden Globes, and not Best Picture at the Academy Awards. See more »


When the prison guard from the helicopter falls off the train after crashing through the window, his goggles are missing and his face is covered with blood. In the next shot, showing him getting run over by the train, he is wearing the goggles and the blood on his face has disappeared. See more »


Rankin: Please try again. And I'll send you out of here in plastic!
See more »


Referenced in Inside No. 9: La Couchette (2015) 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

15 years later - one of the greatest movie you've never heard of
12 October 1999 | by See all my reviews

I remember being wowed by "Runaway Train" back in 1985 when it first came out. Seeing it again on DVD in 1999 reminded me of just how excellent a movie this really was. I recommend "Runaway Train" to anyone who wants a large portion of philosophical meat and meaning mixed in with gripping action and a solid story. In the 15 years since "Runaway Train" was first released, I can't think of a movie other than "The Matrix" that has combined so much action, tension, and a strong philosophy so successfully.

Chances are you've never heard of "Runaway Train." Amazing too. The movie was even based on a Akira Kurosawa screenplay and it shows. Jon Voight and Eric Roberts were at the top of their craft. In fact, both received well deserved Oscar nominations for very powerful performances.

It makes me sad to think that so few have had a chance to actually see this movie due to the sloppy studio backing and licensing turmoil born out of the collapse of the former Golon-Globus production studio. Surprise! Golon-Globus actually made at least one excellent movie outside of the their usual roster of shlock. But their poor reputation might have become so tarnished by that time that audiences didn't get a chance to know what they were missing. As a result, the movie rarely if ever gets airplay or any notice. Since the DVD was one of the very first DVD's to be released when the universe of DVD owners was measured in thousands not millions, it has once again fallen below the radar. Does a tree make a noise if it falls in a forest when there is no one around to hear it happen?

Maybe that was how "Runaway Train" became all but forgotten. If the title were to be reissued today in an SE package, I believe that a whole new generation of DVD viewers would be delighted to have this title in their collection. In the meantime it is worth seeking out for rental or purchase, you won't be disappointed.

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