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 <email@example.com>
Obie Weeks was an employee of the Alaska Railroad at the time of filming. He got a part in the film because he was also an aspiring actor and already a member of Actors' Equity. 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 »
15 years later - one of the greatest movie you've never heard of
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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