Operation Market Garden, September 1944: The Allies attempt to capture several strategically important bridges in the Netherlands in the hope of breaking the German lines. However, mismanagement and poor planning result in its failure.
Ryan, an American POW, leads his fellow prisoners on a dangerous escape from the Germans in Italy. Having seemingly made errors of judgment, Ryan has to win the support of the mainly British soldiers he is commanding.Written by
According to Saul David's memoirs, Frank Sinatra was desperate to have Richard Burton as his co-star. Sinatra was not aware, however, that the studio, 20th Century Fox, were in the middle of a bitter court case with Burton and his wife, Elizabeth Taylor, over the massive cost overruns on " Cleopatra ", and wouldn't even entertain the thought of hiring Burton. Sinatra had made plenty of overtures to Burton in the hope he would sign on, and he was furious that he had wasted his time and effort. See more »
In the train station where the Gestapo agents follow the characters back to the train, Von Klemment is able to open the window shade behind him just as the Gestapo men are passing by. The window faces out the right side of the train. In the next scene, the Gestapo men approach the train car from the left side of the train. They should have boarded the car from the right. See more »
The film credits and all promotion publicity still say "A Cinemascope Picture", and Alfred Newman's "extended" 20th Century-Fox fanfare is still heard on the soundtrack as the picture begins, but most of the film was actually shot in Panavision, at Frank Sinatra's insistence. See more »
"Von Ryan's Express" is overall a satisfying WW II actioner. The movie is long but never boring, there's some excitement and suspense, and some action.
The only problems I found with the movie is that the above is at the expense of characters - not enough time is given to these characters, so we don't have as much of a personal stake - so whether the characters live or die doesn't matter as much as it could have. Also, some of the special effects, even for 1965, are somewhat embarrassing.
It's still a good movie, and it's worth watching - it's just not the classic it could have been.
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