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
During the early parts of the movie, and the air raid scene, an armored locomotive can be seen. This locomotive was a French engine which was "mocked up" with plywood to resemble a German BP44 series armored locomotive. In some shots of it, if the viewer looks closely, they can see the plywood actually moving from vibrations of the locomotive. See more »
When the M-42 machine gun is used to shoot the train hostages in the last scene the belt is NOT feeding into the gun as it is being fired . See more »
[attempting to save Papa Boule, whom the Germans want to execute for committing sabotage]
He's just an old man. He didn't know what he was doing. Don't worry - I'll get your train through for you.
His train? His? It's my train! I know what I'm doing. Do you?
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Opening credits prologue: PARIS August 2-1944 1511th day of German occupation See more »
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 »
The movie is about a episode that happened in 1944. When France was still occupied by the Nazis, they decided to steal paintings from the Paris museums. This film is about a shipment that the French has to save before he ends to Germans, but they also don't want to be destroyed in the process.
Burt Lancaster stars as a French train engineer that has to transport the shipment. At first is not a easy task, but he succeeds in the end. Meanwhile he becomes friend with a hotel owner played by French actress Jeanne Moreau (that passed away last year). And the other members of the cast are fine. Paul Scofield as a German general is great (and Scofield also starred in other great movies after this), and it was a treat seeing French comedian Michel Simon in a war movie (just like Bourvil in THE LONGEST DAY).
This movie had great direction by John Frankenheimer, great performances by all the actors, and also great photography in Black and White. Although a bit dragged in some places, it was still great to watch! And as a fan of the history from 1850 until these days, I liked the movie for his accuracy and his action scenes.
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