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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film was "shot in Canada and starring an American cast" according to "Rating the Movies". See more »
During the rail yard shots it is clearly visible that the last two locomotives (EMD GP7s) have Blomberg B type trucks. Later in the movie the trucks of the two locomotives change to AAR type B, which reveals that the locomotives are different. Yard shots were made at the BA&P Railway yard in Anaconda, Montana using local locomotives, which had Blomberg B trucks. Later filming was done on the Alaska Railroad, whose GP7s had AAR type B trucks. Furthermore, as the train starts accelerating in the yard, a close up of an AAR type B truck is shown, which reveals that the shot was made later in Alaska and not in Montana as the other yard shots. See more »
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 »
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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