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Runaway Train (1985)

2:37 | Trailer

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Two escaped convicts and a female railway worker find themselves trapped on a train with no brakes and nobody driving.


Andrey Konchalovskiy (as Andrei Konchalovsky)


Djordje Milicevic (screenplay), Paul Zindel (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jon Voight ... Oscar 'Manny' Manheim
Eric Roberts ... Buck McGeehy
Rebecca De Mornay ... Sara
Kyle T. Heffner ... Frank Barstow
John P. Ryan ... Warden Ranken
T.K. Carter ... Dave Prince
Kenneth McMillan ... Eddie MacDonald
Stacey Pickren Stacey Pickren ... Ruby
Walter Wyatt Walter Wyatt ... Conlan
Edward Bunker ... Jonah
Reid Cruickshanks Reid Cruickshanks ... Al Turner (as Reid Cruikshanks)
Dan Wray Dan Wray ... Fat Con
Michael Lee Gogin Michael Lee Gogin ... Short Con
John Bloom ... Tall Con
Hank Worden ... Old Con (as Norton E. 'Hank' Warden)


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 <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Desperate, And Determined To Survive. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

17 January 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Escape en tren See more »

Filming Locations:

Anaconda, Montana, USA See more »


Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,601,480, 6 December 1985, Wide Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo


Color (Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Danny Trejo was visiting a friend who was working as a production assistant on the set when he was offered a job as an extra. Edward Bunker recognized Trejo because they served time in San Quentin State Prison together. Bunker helped Trejo get hired as Eric Roberts' boxing coach. Director Andrey Konchalovskiy was so impressed with Trejo that he gave him a small role. Trejo later stated that he was staggered to find out that the coaching job earned him $320 per day, which was more than he had ever gotten from a robbery. See more »


Before and while the train crosses the Seneca bridge, the words "Alaska Railroad" above the tunnel portal appear and disappear between shots. See more »


Rankin: You're as afraid to die as anybody else, and I never let you free. You hear me?
Manny: I am free, Rankin. I am free.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD mysteriously edits out the shot of the first helicopter policeman being run over by the wheels of the train. You see him crash into the train windshield and see him fall off, but then you see just a plain shot of the wheels. In all other versions of the film on video and laserdisc have a shot of this man's face coming right at the camera as his body is run over by the wheels of the train. Even the US TV version has a brief shot of this. This shot is present in the UK Arrow Films DVD release. See more »


Edited into Con Express (2002) See more »


Gloria in D Major
by Antonio Vivaldi (as Vivaldi)
Performed by The USSR Academic Russian Chorus and the Moscow Conservatoire Students Orchestra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Voight should have won the Oscar for that monologue alone
13 December 2007 | by tbyrne4See all my reviews

I remember watching this as a kid and thinking it was an incredibly powerful film, but i forgot how strong the performances are, particularly Voight's. Roberts is good, but he's basically playing second fiddle to Voight's hulking, frightening, feral, almost mythical Manny, a con so dangerous the warden has kept him in solitary confinement for three years straight.

Roberts is a younger convict who idolizes Manny and helps him escape from the Alaskan prison where they both reside. they end up on a train barrelling down the tracks at 90mph with no conductor and no way to stop it. The film is based on a screenplay by the legendary Akira Kurasawa.

Great action scenes. Muscular film-making. It just seems they don't make films like this anymore. Films that aren't trying to pander to a certain demographic. This is lean, mean action all the way.

And that "little biddy spot" monologue Voight has halfway through the film is really breathtaking. He should have won an Oscar for that alone.

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