7.1/10
26,835
118 user 183 critic

The Railway Man (2013)

Trailer
2:29 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

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.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
2,982 ( 46)
7 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A woman wakes up every day, remembering nothing as a result of a traumatic accident in her past. One day, new terrifying truths emerge that force her to question everyone around her.

Director: Rowan Joffe
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

As Cecil Gaines serves eight presidents during his tenure as a butler at the White House, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and other major events affect this man's life, family, and American society.

Director: Lee Daniels
Stars: Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack
Rabbit Hole (2010)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Life for a happy couple is turned upside down after their young son dies in an accident.

Director: John Cameron Mitchell
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, Dianne Wiest
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The story of former Hollywood star Grace Kelly's crisis of marriage and identity, during a political dispute between Monaco's Prince Rainier III and France's Charles De Gaulle, and a looming French invasion of Monaco in the early 1960s.

Director: Olivier Dahan
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Tim Roth, André Penvern
Devil's Knot (2013)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The savage murders of three young children sparks a controversial trial of three teenagers accused of killing the kids as part of a satanic ritual.

Director: Atom Egoyan
Stars: Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon, Alessandro Nivola
Gambit I (2012)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

An art curator decides to seek revenge on his abusive boss by conning him into buying a fake Monet, but his plan requires the help of an eccentric and unpredictable Texas rodeo queen.

Director: Michael Hoffman
Stars: Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz, Alan Rickman
Promised Land (2012)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A salesman for a natural gas company experiences life-changing events after arriving in a small town, where his corporation wants to tap into the available resources.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Matt Damon, Frances McDormand, John Krasinski
Philomena (2013)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A world-weary political journalist picks up the story of a woman's search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a convent.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Sophie Kennedy Clark
Unbroken I (2014)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After a near-fatal plane crash in WWII, Olympian Louis Zamperini spends a harrowing 47 days in a raft with two fellow crewmen before he's caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.

Director: Angelina Jolie
Stars: Jack O'Connell, Miyavi, Domhnall Gleeson
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

While subjected to the horrors of World War II Germany, young Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. In the basement of her home, a Jewish refugee is being protected by her adoptive parents.

Director: Brian Percival
Stars: Sophie Nélisse, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson
A Single Man (2009)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An English professor, one year after the sudden death of his boyfriend, is unable to cope with his typical days in 1960s Los Angeles.

Director: Tom Ford
Stars: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A chronicle of Nelson Mandela's life journey from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa.

Director: Justin Chadwick
Stars: Idris Elba, Naomie Harris, Terry Pheto
Edit

Cast

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

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

Taglines:

Revenge is never a straight line.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

|

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Bridge where old Eric standing at the end of the movie is the famous Bridge on the River Kwai in Thailand. See more »

Goofs

The young Lomax shows the map to the soldiers and explains they've been on the POW train for four days before heading west, yet young Lomax is still clearly clean shaven and has no sign of stubble or growth. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Eric: At the beginning of time, the clock struck one. A drop of dew, and the clock struck two. From the dew grew a tree, and the clock struck three. Then the tree made a door, and the clock struck four. Then man came alive, And the clock struck five. Count not, waste not, the hours of the clock. Behold I stand at the door and knock.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Projector: The Railway Man (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
powerful and emotive WWII autobiographical tale of PTSD and triumph in adversity
13 December 2013 | by (London, UK) – See all my reviews

Saw this as a test screening some time ago but wasn't allowed to post until it was released, consequently I've not seen the finished film but the test version affected me quite a bit. Based on a true story - Eric Lomax (Firth) - was building the Thai/Burma railway WWII as a POW. The conditions were horrific, treatment atrocious and Lomax clearly suffered PTSD, although it wasn't diagnosed yet - the film was set in the 70s. In an attempt to lay ghosts of his past to rest he travels back to revisit the sites of his incarceration and comes face to face with a Japanese officer from that time who was central to his torture.

It's a grey, period-style, sombre film, there's little in the way of humour and the only colour at the beginning is Nicole Kidman's (more or less extraneous) role as the "love interest." Her role was apparently meant to be played by Rachel Weisz and I think that would have been a better choice, and it bugs me that Kidman is first listing on the credits when Lomax' role is the titular role, and it's HIS book that the film is based on. However, the synopsis puts emphasis on her standing by her man and seeing him through his adversity and she does, and is good in the role she is given, and in that she was well chosen played down in her looks to given some small-town glamour.

It's a slow pace and if you like bells and whistles and CGI rather than real life and emotions then don't bother with this... it's a gripping, sad, heartbreaking and heartwarming tale or triumph over adversity, courage and strength of spirit with an ending that if you don't have a tear in your eye then you are dead inside.

Colin Firth, I think, is well cast and plays stayed, rather eccentric and dull due to his brokenness extremely well. He is fascinated by railways and trains (which is surprising) since his experiences and we meet his love interest on a train. His emotions turn erratically and he suffered terrifying nightmares, working through the pain/suffering of his character with a quiet studied grace. The star turn in my opinion... and all at the test screening agreed... is Hiroyuki Sanada who played Lomax' nemesis as an adult. He had a very challenging role and was superb. He played his role with so much calm that you could believe his conversion experience and he made the tale come alive and be very believable. Nothing he did was superfluous and even the tiniest nuances of his actions were obviously deliberate and perfect, his facial expressions were... oh enough to make me weep in places. I'd like to see him get applauded for it - and will look out for him in other films (eg 47 Ronin). Stellan Skarsgard (always excellent) was good in the role he played but at the test screening we all questioned why someone without a heavy English accent was cast for the role of an English soldier in his middle age when in his young scenes the actor who played Finlay was quintessentially British with no explanation as to why he is suddenly Swedish, "After the war he went to Sweden and has lived there" would have done - maybe they've done that now. His character too was a tragedy, also not coping at all with life after war.

The young actors playing the tough scenes in Japan building the railway had the hardest roles and Jeremy Irvine and Sam Reid did their older selves proud in some quite harrowing scenes, and oftentimes they really did look emaciated, thin and on their last legs. The film pulls no punches but does leave the terrible experience that Lomax suffered as a cliff-hanger to the last.

A powerful film, not for the feint or lighthearted, I fear, but certainly if you are interested in history, and enjoy good performance led character pieces you will find this an excellent cinema-going experience. I do recommend taking something to dry your eyes with and stay to the end to learn about Lomax and Nagase - the real people. The truth in the story adds so much more to the film.


55 of 68 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Waterboarding Scene is Bogus AuAgFinder
Why Diden't He Pay His Bills ? hakan_lovdahl2
Why no US release date for this? mimacdon4
The Railway Man: History vs. Hollywood matrix25
Anyone else confused by the chronology in this film? evcorco
Did not do justice to the book OliviaF
Discuss The Railway Man (2013) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?