7.9/10
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134 user 69 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:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Didont (as Albert Remy)
Charles Millot ...
Richard Münch ...
General Von Lubitz (as Richard Munch)
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Jacques - Rive-Reine Station Master
Paul Bonifas ...
Jean Bouchaud ...
Captain Schmidt
...
Sergeant Schwartz (as Donal O'Brien)
...
Octave
Arthur Brauss ...
Pilzer (as Art Brauss)
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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

Plot Keywords:

train | art | german | french | painting | See All (72) »

Taglines:

It carried their hopes, their nation's honour!

Genres:

Thriller | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

7 March 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Frankenheimer's The Train  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,700,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$7,410,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Frankenheimer said of this film, "I wanted all the realism possible. There are no tricks in this film. When trains crash together, they are real trains. There is no substitute for that kind of reality." See more »

Goofs

When the train is to resume its journey from Rive-Reine after the engine failure, Waldheim knows he must wait for nightfall before it can safely leave. Sunset on August 5, 1944, would be at 9:20 pm, but he sets its departure time at 7 pm. Yet, when the train leaves it is dark. See more »

Quotes

Papa Boule: Renoir... I knew a girl who modeled for Renoir... She smelled of paint...
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Crazy Credits

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

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User Reviews

 
An intense suspense War drama from the beginning to the end…
30 March 2008 | by See all my reviews

The big star of Frankenheimer's film is the train itself... And the plot is based on the characteristic of railroads—engines and cars all over the tracks, cabs and steam—all shown on enough detail to keep the viewer in great suspense… The aerial strike shots are also wonderfully taken…

The film begins in Paris, August 2, 1944…

It's 1511th day of German occupation… The liberation of Paris seems very close…

Nazi Colonel Von Waldheim (Paul Scofield) decides suddenly to remove by train to Germany the best of Impressionist masterpieces… His objective is clear: "Money is a weapon. The contents are as negotiable as gold and more valuable."

Mademoiselle Villard (Suzanne Flon) informs the Resistance of the shipment…The Resistance reaction is to stop the train without damaging the national heritage… "They are part of France." But stopping the train is not a simple task… You can get killed especially if you are French and the train is German…

Labiche (Burt Lancaster), the Chief Inspector of the French Railway System, is not impressed… However, he never communicates his political, ideological, or nationalistic convictions, "For certain things, we take the risk," he said; "but I won't waste lives on paintings."

When an aged engineer, Papa Boule (Michel Simon), is accused of sabotage in spite of saving the train through the Allied's bombs at the risk of his own life, Labiche is forced into combat…

It begins with a long sequence where an armament train and the art train are both trying to leave the yard in the morning… As they are being moved back and forth across the tracks, the viewer knows that British planes will hit the yard in that moment at exactly 10:00 o'clock…

New complications are introduced, but the central conflict always returns to an obsessive art lover against a man with no appreciation for art… Labiche's only concerns is to slow down the Nazis keeping himself and his compatriots alive…

Now, two forces control the film… The first is Frankenheimer's cleverness to choreograph the real trains… Frankenheimer and his cinematographers capture the heat of the engines, the noise and sound of the cars in motion, the fault in the oil line, the crushing strength implicated when the machines come into collision and the derailment… The second force is Lancaster, the "headache" of the fanatical obsessed Colonel whose desire is to see the priceless paintings in Nazi Germany...


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