7.8/10
13,637
150 user 82 critic

The Train (1964)

Not Rated | | Thriller, War | 7 March 1965 (USA)
In 1944, a German colonel loads a train with French art treasures to send to Germany. The Resistance must stop it without damaging the cargo.

Directors:

John Frankenheimer, Arthur Penn (uncredited)

Writers:

Franklin Coen (screen story), Frank Davis (screen story) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Burt Lancaster ... Paul Labiche
Paul Scofield ... Colonel Franz Von Waldheim
Jeanne Moreau ... Christine
Suzanne Flon ... Mlle. Villard
Michel Simon ... Papa Boule
Wolfgang Preiss ... Major Herren
Albert Rémy ... Didont (as Albert Remy)
Charles Millot ... Pesquet
Richard Münch Richard Münch ... General Von Lubitz (as Richard Munch)
Jacques Marin ... Jacques - Rive-Reine Station Master
Paul Bonifas ... Spinet - Resistance Leader
Jean Bouchaud Jean Bouchaud ... Captain Schmidt
Donald O'Brien ... Sergeant Schwartz (as Donal O'Brien)
Jean-Pierre Zola ... Octave
Arthur Brauss ... Pilzer (as Art Brauss)
Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

United States military leaders plot to overthrow the President because he supports a nuclear disarmament treaty and they fear a Soviet sneak attack.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A surly convicted murderer held in permanent isolation redeems himself when he becomes a renowned bird expert.

Directors: John Frankenheimer, Charles Crichton
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Karl Malden, Thelma Ritter
Elmer Gantry (1960)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A fast-talking traveling salesman with a charming, loquacious manner convinces a sincere evangelist that he can be an effective preacher for her cause.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Jean Simmons, Arthur Kennedy
Action | Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An arrogant Texas millionaire hires four adventurers to rescue his kidnapped wife from a notorious Mexican bandit.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan
The Swimmer (1968)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A man spends a summer day swimming as many pools as he can all over a quiet suburban town.

Directors: Frank Perry, Sydney Pollack
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Janet Landgard, Janice Rule
Seconds (1966)
Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An unhappy middle-aged banker agrees to a procedure that will fake his death and give him a completely new look and identity - one that comes with its own price.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Rock Hudson, Frank Campanella, John Randolph
Action | Adventure | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An American POW leads a group of mainly British prisoners to escape from the Germans in WWII.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Trevor Howard, Raffaella Carrà
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Powerful but unethical Broadway columnist J.J. Hunsecker coerces unscrupulous press agent Sidney Falco into breaking up his sister's romance with a jazz musician.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A former prisoner of war is brainwashed as an unwitting assassin for an international Communist conspiracy.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh
I Walk Alone (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Frankie Madison leaves prison expecting a share from his ex-partner. But Prohibition bootlegging didn't prepare Frankie for Big Business.

Director: Byron Haskin
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Lizabeth Scott, Kirk Douglas
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A Mexican-American sheriff must resort to violence against a powerful rancher in order to get just compensation for the pregnant Indian widow of a wrongly killed black man.

Director: Edwin Sherin
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Susan Clark, Frank Silvera
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A D.A. investigates 3 white teenagers accused of murdering a blind Puerto Rican kid.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Dina Merrill, Edward Andrews
Edit

Storyline

As the Allied forces approach Paris in August 1944, German Colonel Von Waldheim is desperate to take all of France's greatest paintings to Germany. He manages to secure a train to transport the valuable art works even as the chaos of retreat descends upon them. The French resistance however wants to stop them from stealing their national treasures but have received orders from London that they are not to be destroyed. The station master, Labiche, is tasked with scheduling the train and making it all happen smoothly but he is also part of a dwindling group of resistance fighters tasked with preventing the theft. He and others stage an elaborate ruse to keep the train from ever leaving French territory. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It carried their hopes, their nation's honour! See more »

Genres:

Thriller | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Boxoffice magazine in 1964, filming had been shut down for several weeks before resuming in April of that year. See more »

Goofs

When the German officer throws his pipe down, it lands on a chair, spilling ashes onto the chair seat. The next time we see the pipe, there are no ashes. See more »

Quotes

Labiche: Listen, you idiots! The war'll be over in a few days! Now leave it alone.
Pesquet: You get caught up in something, you can't leave it alone.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: PARIS August 2-1944 1511th day of German occupation See more »

Alternate Versions

Whilst the official run time is 133 minutes, the BBFC website has two separate entries, one with a theatrical 'U' rated certificate in 1964 running at 141 minutes 31 seconds and the other entry with a theatrical 'A' rated certificate in 1959 running at 90 minutes 37 seconds. Though the second entry seems incorrect due to the erroneous date of certification being 21 October 1959 (the film was being made in 1963 and is copyrighted in 1964) and a much shorter run time, the BBFC reference numbering is in sequence with the later video rated entries so it is unknown if this 1959 entry is a much shorter cut of this film or this is an error in the BBFC records. It is also not known if the 142 minute entry is a longer cut of the film that has simply not been since it's UK theatrical release in 1964. See more »

Connections

Featured in Godzilla (1977) See more »

User Reviews

A personal favorite and semi-overlooked classic
29 November 2001 | by ggh6See all my reviews

A standout WWII drama, loosely based on a true story. In 1944, as the Allies spread across France from the Normandy landings, the Nazis looted Paris art museums and loaded the works onto a train, with the intention of carrying them back to the Fatherland and selling or bartering them for scarce war materials. A fairly hare-brained scheme, to be sure, and in reality the train never made it further than a siding just east of the city, but that shouldn't hinder one's enjoyment of what turns out to be a classic action film.

The centerpiece of the movie is a clash of wills between Von Waldheim, a cultured but iron-backed Nazi colonel (well-played by Paul Scofield) charged with getting the stolen artworks to Germany, and a taciturn railway troubleshooter named Labiche (Burt Lancaster). Von Waldheim first enlists Labiche as 'insurance' against any monkey business during the train's journey. Labiche, though, happens to have Resistance connections and, with serious reservations, is drawn into a desperate, improvised plot to stop the train, preferably without damaging the precious artifacts inside.

Although easily enjoyed as a straight action flick, what gives the film weight is the supporting story, in which Labiche at first argues against wasting precious lives on a few crates of paintings he's never seen, then gradually comes round as he begins to understand that the Nazis are effectively carrying off a large piece of the heart of France. Beautiful deep-focus black and white photography, and solid supporting performances by a mostly French cast (of which Jeanne Moreau may be the best-known), convincingly evoke the bleak misery of the Occupation. John Frankenheimer's economical direction manages to present highly-charged action scenes without glossing over the human cost, as Von Waldheim exacts savage reprisals against escalating efforts to hinder the train's passage.

Lancaster, who performed his own stunts, is excellent, furiously athletic as he slides down ladders, leaps onto moving locomotives, and charges over ridges and fields in pursuit of the train. At the same time, he manages to effectively bring a subtle authenticity to his portrayal of the weary, fatalistic railwayman.

Finally, the action set-pieces are nothing short of stunning, and include the train's mad dash through an Allied carpet-bombing attack, a strafing raid on a speeding locomotive, and several wrecks and derailments, all staged full-scale with period equipment donated by the French national railway. Well worth obtaining on DVD, the film may be hard to find on broadcast television these days.


88 of 110 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 150 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

France | Italy | USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

7 March 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

John Frankenheimer's The Train See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$6,700,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical release) (1964)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed