An engine moves from the roundhouse to a track where it couples with several passenger cars. At 2:10 in the afternoon, it starts a trip out of the station through the countryside to its ... See full summary »

Director:

Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Gasman (1998)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

It's the Christmas season. With her mom's help, Lynne, a girl of perhaps eight, dresses up; her younger brother Steven plays with a toy car. The children leave with their dad, who's ... See full summary »

Director: Lynne Ramsay
Stars: Lynne Ramsay Jr., Martin Anderson, James Ramsay
Short | Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The Japanese attack on Midway in June 1942, filmed as it happened.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, Logan Ramsey
Danse serpentine II (1896)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Louis Lumière
Stars: Loie Fuller
Sandow (1896)
Short | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Strong-man Eugene (Eugen) Sandow poses in a long shot on a bare stage against a black background, wearing only tight trunks and laced sandals. He begins with his arms folded against his ... See full summary »

Director: William K.L. Dickson
Stars: Eugen Sandow
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Annabelle (Whitford) Moore performs one of her popular dance routines. She uses her dance steps and her long, flowing skirts to create a variety of visual patterns.

Directors: William K.L. Dickson, William Heise
Stars: Annabelle Moore
Cinderella (1899)
Drama | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A fairy godmother magically turns Cinderella's rags to a beautiful dress, and a pumpkin into a coach. Cinderella goes to the ball, where she meets the Prince - but will she remember to leave before the magic runs out?

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Barral, Bleuette Bernon, Carmely
Documentary | War | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A tribute to the courage and resiliency of Britons during the darkest days of the London Blitz.

Directors: Humphrey Jennings, Harry Watt
Stars: Quentin Reynolds, King George VI, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The work and obsessions of director Nanni Moretti when the Iranian movie "Close Up" is scheduled to open in the movie theater he owns in Rome. Attention to details and above all a great love for cinema at its best.

Director: Nanni Moretti
Stars: Fabia Bergamo, Paolo Di Virgilio, Paola Orfei
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Frank Hickey, Michael Roy, John Newing
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The current day-to-day life is much different than what it was thirty or forty years ago, but it is the life to which we as people are now accustomed and take for granted. But it also ... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Lipsett
Associations (1975)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: John Smith
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Pavel Kogan
Edit

Storyline

An engine moves from the roundhouse to a track where it couples with several passenger cars. At 2:10 in the afternoon, it starts a trip out of the station through the countryside to its destination. The film consists of a montage of shots, some close up, of the engine and its gears and wheels. With the accompanying ambient sounds and an orchestral score, the emphasis is on the engine's power and speed. Parallel lines of multiple tracks, telephone wires, and trees confirm a careful composition. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Music

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

September 1949 (France)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Klangfilm)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Goofs

When the music first starts, the film shows the reverser lever being moved upward from neutral. However, the up position indicates reverse, as all the shots of the train going forward show the lever in the down position. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A railway symphony
13 December 2008 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

After watching so many of those Soviet-style "symphonies," I guess I must be sick of them. Dziga Vertov, one of the most prominent advocates of the montage, was set on ultimately abolishing all non-documentary styles of film-making. Thankfully, this goal never came to pass, for, though I fervently admire 'The Man with the Movie Camera (1929),' I can't imagine having to enjoy it every single day. Technically speaking, there absolutely nothing wrong Jean Mitry's 'Pacific 321 (1949).' It features some striking and creative photography of a moving locomotive, and is edited rhythmically to complement Arthur Honegger's classical composition of the same name, which is itself often interpreted as representing the journey of a steam locomotive. All this is accomplished with genuine skill, to create appropriate visuals that precisely match the tempo of the music (which, by the way, is quite an excellent classical piece).

The only problem – and it pains me to say this about a film into which obvious effort have been poured – is that I found 'Pacific 231' to be markedly uninteresting, and I was simply waiting for it to finish. The first three minutes are particularly tiresome, as we watch a locomotive prepare for its journey, the soundtrack featuring only the ordinary background sounds of a railway station. Once Honegger's musical piece starts up, the rhythm begins to speed up, and the film becomes much more interesting. As the music starts speeding up, so too does the train, and Mitry correspondingly increases the tempo of his editing. There are some inventive shots of the working machinery, such as driving wheels and running gear, as the train darts forward at great speed. Fans of experimental cinema will probably enjoy this 10-minute short, and, in another mood, I might have enjoyed it, as well.


2 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Pacific 231 (1949) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page