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A man released from jail, where he had served time for doctoring the books of a gangster, has to go into hiding from the gangster's men. He moves into a Dublin boarding house run by a woman and her timid daughter. The timid woman immediately takes a shine to the new boarder and to his train sets, which they each use as an escape from reality. However, her mother doesn't like their relationship and they both are chased by the gangsters. Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
At the end of the nineteenth century, whenever a filmmaker wanted to convey a sense of urgency and romance, he took his camera, placed it on a railway platform and waited for the sound of a steam whistle. The 1898 movie shorts, Arrival Of Tokyo Train' and Train Hour in Durango, Mexico' do not have modern equivalents. The fact is we prefer not to have drama in our airports. We don't want smoke billowing from our 747's, and we would feel decidedly uncomfortable if every flight were presaged by a man in a navy uniform looking to his pocket watch before announcing, "all aboard now, ladies and gentlemen".
John Lynch, in his engaging feature Night Train', finds passion in his performers rather than in the iron behemoth of the title. The urgency and romance are delivered by John Hurt and Brenda Blethyn, both powerful actors who understand that the full force of love can be projected more with the unsaid and ineffable than with the spoken word.
The romance begins when Michael Poole (Hurt) introduces Alice Mooney (Blethyn) to his secret obsession, the elaborate train set which he has been constructing in his room. Poole, recently released from jail for embezzlement, is now being pursued by the gangster (Lorcan Cranitch) he swindled. So, this sheltered world of miniature tracks and sidings must soon be exchanged for the real thing as our protagonists set off on the Orient Express for Venice.
Night Train' is always much more than a chase movie because it explores an area not often charted in recent films. Love is not the sole property of supple young boys and girls whose close-ups invariably involve open pores and beads of perspiration. Sometimes love is simply about forgotten desires and about hope and, to quote the writer John Rechy, sometimes hope is an end in itself.
Night train is a film that reminds us of our frailties.
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