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The Railway Man (2013)

 -  Biography | Drama  -  23 May 2014 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 13,160 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 81 user | 137 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

A former British Army officer, who was tormented as a prisoner of war at a Japanese labor camp during World War II, discovers that the man responsible for much of his treatment is still alive and sets out to confront him.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Railway Man (2013)

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2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Michael MacKenzie ...
Sutton
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Jeffrey Daunton ...
Burton
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Withins
Bryan Probets ...
Major York
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Thorlby
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Jackson
Kitamoto Takato ...
Japanese Officer
Keith Fleming ...
Removal Man
...
Baliff
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Storyline

Eric Lomax was one of thousands of Allied prisoners of war forced to work on the construction of the Thai/Burma railway during WW2. His experiences, after the secret radio he built to bring news and hope to his colleagues was discovered, left him traumatised and shut off from the world. Years later, he met Patti, a beautiful woman, on a train and fell in love. Patti was determined to rid Eric of his demons. Discovering that the young Japanese officer who haunted her husband was still alive, she faced a terrible decision. Should Eric be given a chance to confront his tormentor? Would she stand by him, whatever he did? Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing prisoner of war violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

23 May 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un pasado imborrable  »

Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$61,845 (USA) (11 April 2014)

Gross:

$4,435,083 (USA) (11 July 2014)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film uses compressed time to speed up the story. Eric Lomax and Patti Wallace did meet in 1980, but in reality they didn't marry until 1983. Eric didn't learn that Takashi Nagase was still alive until 1993, and they finally met in 1995. See more »

Goofs

When Eric hugs Patti in the final scene, his watch shows the time as about half past six despite it obviously being the middle of the day. See more »

Quotes

Nagase: You are a soldier, Lomax. You never surrendered.
Eric: I'm still at war.
See more »

Connections

References Brief Encounter (1945) See more »

Soundtracks

Introduction (Prelude) from Gadfly Suite
Performed by Ukraine National Symphony Orchestra, Theodore Kuchar (Conductor)
Composed by D. Shostakovich
Published by Native Tongue Publishing
Licensed Courtesy of Select Audio Visual Distribution on behalf of Naxos
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User Reviews

 
Love and redemption: great themes
22 January 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Last week I saw American HUSTLE and couldn't understand why the critics have so raved about it. Yesterday I saw THE RAILWAY MAN and can't understand why the critics have been so dismissive. It's a tense story about one of the great horrors of World War Two. Based on a true story, it's also a tale of love and redemption, two of the cinema's (and literature's) greatest themes. And it serves up a vivid reminder that the Japanese of the 1940s were, like the Nazis, from a different generation, almost from a different race.

David Lean's BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI casts a huge shadow over this movie. THE RAILWAY MAN lacks the "majesty" of Lean's famous epic, but I suspect that Alex Guinness's performance would seem very theatrical by the standards of screen acting today. If anything, Colin Firth gives a slightly under-powered performance (and Nicole Kidman's part gives her too little to work with), but Jeremy Irvine is intensely believable as the wartime Lomax, geeky and quietly heroic. The horrors of the forced labour that built the railway and the relentless brutality of the Japanese soldiers are both vividly conveyed, and the ending manages to be poignant without trespassing into mawkishness.

This is a strange movie, grim but highly watchable. Arguably, it could have been tougher, more savage, but then it might be harder to sit through.


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