A hardened convict and a younger prisoner escape from a brutal prison in the middle of winter only to find themselves on an out-of-control train with a female railway worker while being pursued by the vengeful head of security.Written by
Keith Loh <email@example.com>
Most of the train action footage was shot with three cameras. Cinematographer Alan Hume said: "It was necessary while making a run on a track, we had to get as many shots as possible before another train came through." See more »
When Manny goes to uncouple the lead locomotive from the rest of the train, he has a large wrench in his hand. When the camera cuts to the overhead shot just before Manny uncouples the locomotive, the wrench is gone. See more »
While the US and DVD version is missing the shot of the cop being pulled under the wheels of the train, it is included on the uncut Australian region 4 DVD from MGM and the UK DVD from Arrow Films See more »
The stock title promises action and suspense, and we get that, but with a story by Akira Kurosawa, expert direction by Russian émigré Andrei Konchalovsky and superior lensing by Alan Hume, we get a study of what defines a man.
John Voight and the vastly underrated Eric Roberts play two cons who escape from a hellish gulag and board a train with no driver. Their struggle to stop the train and battle their own inner demons is the movie.
Konchalovsky creates a cold, alien, ethereal world inside the train that, in the oddest way, provides a haven for self-examination for the two leads. Rebecca de Mournay is layered into the mix, as is the indefatigable John P. Ryan as a prison warden who risks death to return his charges to custody, but the movie belongs to Voight and Roberts who both bring tremendous humanity to their finely sketched characters.
The final image is as powerful as cinema gets and marks RUNAWAY TRAIN as a modest masterpiece.
Though often criticized for producing cheap rubbish, the Cannon Group, in fact, also produced many fine films including this, 52 PICK-UP and MARIA'S LOVERS (also Konchalovsky).
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