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Man on the Train (2002)

L'homme du train (original title)
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A teacher and a gangster meet by chance in a small town pharmacy. As a friendship of sorts develops between these opposite personalities, each starts to envy the other and by the week's end... See full summary »



7 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean-François Stévenin ...
Charlie Nelson ...
Pascal Parmentier ...
Isabelle Petit-Jacques ...
La soeur de Manesquier
Maurice Chevit ...
Le coiffeur
Riton Liebman ...
Le costaud
Olivier Fauron ...
Le collégien
Véronique Kapoyan ...
Le boulngère
Elsa Duclot ...
La serveuse
Armand Chagot ...
Le jardinier
Michel Laforest ...
Le pharmacien
Alain Guellaff ...
Le chirugien


A teacher and a gangster meet by chance in a small town pharmacy. As a friendship of sorts develops between these opposite personalities, each starts to envy the other and by the week's end, everything will change for both of them. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A poet. A thief. Two strangers with nothing in common are about to trade their lives for a chance to cheat their destinies.


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and brief violence | See all certifications »



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Release Date:

20 June 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Man on the Train  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$659,820 (France) (4 October 2002)


$2,541,320 (USA) (21 November 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Monsieur Manesquier: [after an abortive confrontation] I suppose my time hasn't come.
Milan: That took guts.
Monsieur Manesquier: I try picking a fight and find someone who likes me.
Milan: You'd have preferred broken bottles?
Monsieur Manesquier: [shrugs] It would have been something to remember.
See more »


Remade as Man on the Train (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Great French Western
23 May 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

We know this film from childhood, but the child has grown. Here we are in a provincial French city when the cowboy rides in on the iron train to transform the life of a citizen, unexpectedly, profoundly.

Jean Rochefort, with his great face of character, about to go for major surgery, a three vessel bypass, a wifeless man of regrets, a retired teacher of literature to secondary students, is about to meet his fantasy: Johnny Hollyday (the Elvis of France?) who plays a bank robber about to perform his retirement job. Meeting by apparent chance, though clearly pre-ordained, the fantasies of the lonely, anxious teacher whose love of poetry might be his most tender trait in an otherwise ruthlessly real view of the world, are set in motion. Hollyday becomes his unexpected guest...the lone hotel is closed for the season...and an excitement comes to Rochefort's life. The man has guns. There is a picture of him looking terribly western in his leather jacket, the enigmatic stranger/cowboy in the mythos of his host. Ah, to be that man, to fire that gun, to live that life of dark adventure.

It goes on to its meaningful end, not told here except to say that the last scene may be an error, a prolongation that was unnecessary and added nothing to the power of the film, nor detracted from the marvelous performance of Rochefort, who can do no wrong with any role, or Hollyday, whose acting turn here is perfect in the Robert Mitchum noir sense, but tinged with an old-world tiredness that is quite moving. All this with fine subsidiary acting, a perfectly murky Simenonoish setting, and Schubert's melancholic sounds. Ah, bon. Tres, tres bon.

27 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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