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The Railway Man (2013)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Romance  |  23 May 2014 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 22,338 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 104 user | 173 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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Michael MacKenzie ...
Sutton
...
Jeffrey Daunton ...
Burton
...
...
Withins
Bryan Probets ...
Major York
...
Thorlby
...
...
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

Taglines:

Revenge is never a straight line.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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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
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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 meets Patti for the second time you can clearly see an LED style signal light in the background. These were not installed in the UK until the late-2000s. See more »

Quotes

Patti: Did you know Warrington is famous for vodka?
Eric: [eyes on his book] You know, with all due respect to your friend, if all he mentioned is vodka, he's really only scratched the surface of Warrington.
[looks up at Patti]
Eric: the Black Prince? Remember the Black Prince? Had all his armour made there. Warrington was really the only place to go if you wanted a suit of armour. Sort of Saville Row in steel
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film 2015: Episode dated 17 December 2014 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Rasputin
Performed by Sean Timms featuring Janine Baigent and Daniel Burgess
Composed by Farian/Jay/Reyam
Published by Sony ATV Music Publishing
Licensed by Perfect Pitch Publishing on behalf of Timms Tunes
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An astonishing story about two former enemies in a lesser-known front of World War II
8 September 2013 | by See all my reviews

The Pacific theater of the second world war is often characterized by a number of such decisive battle fields as Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. The Railway Man is a reminder of the madness of war that reached beyond those well-known battle fields and the profound effects it had on individuals who fought in the Southeast Asia region.

Colin Firth embodies the suffering of Eric Lomax, a veteran who still experiences post-traumatic nightmares decades after the war. Nicole Kidman plays his wife Patti with utmost grace and compassion, and Stellan Skarsgård's portrayal is nothing short of perfection as he plays the fellow veteran who is also torn by his friend's immeasurable pain. Rounding out the strong performances is Hiroyuki Sanada's Nagase, a former translator of the Imperial Japanese Army who took considerable part in Eric's torture.

While the flashback scenes led by younger actors (Jeremy Irvine and Tanroh Ishida) could use some improvements, the current post-war scenes are recreated to near perfection with mature performances from the more experienced cast members. It is also noteworthy that the film does not hesitate for a moment to refute the wrong notion associated with "tragedy of war," a term often misused to make a war sound as if it were a mere chance event and not a product of malice. The film makes it clear the pain inflicted upon Eric Lomax is nothing but an act of crime, and from that accord comes an unusual relationship between two former enemies that only a film based on a true account can deliver.


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