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Track 29 (1988)

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A doctor's wife tires of his obsession with model trains, and spends her days wondering about the son she gave up for adoption at birth. While eating at a roadside café, she encounters a ... See full summary »

Director:

Nicolas Roeg

Writer:

Dennis Potter
Reviews
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Theresa Russell ... Linda Henry
Gary Oldman ... Martin
Christopher Lloyd ... Henry Henry
Colleen Camp ... Arlanda
Sandra Bernhard ... Nurse Stein
Seymour Cassel ... Dr. Bernard Fairmont
Leon Rippy ... Trucker
Vance Colvig Jr. Vance Colvig Jr. ... Mr. Ennis (as Vance Colvig)
Kathryn Tomlinson Kathryn Tomlinson ... Receptionist
Elijah Christopher Perry Elijah Christopher Perry ... Redneck (as Jerry Rushing)
Tommy Hull Tommy Hull ... Counterman
J. Michael Hunter J. Michael Hunter ... Waiter
Richard K. Olsen ... Delegate
Ted Barrow Ted Barrow ... Old Man
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Storyline

A doctor's wife tires of his obsession with model trains, and spends her days wondering about the son she gave up for adoption at birth. While eating at a roadside café, she encounters a British hitchhiker, who turns out to be her son. They spend time together trying to find a bond. The son begins to hate the husband, and the wife begins worrying about the safety of her husband and his train set. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He Was Her Dream And Her Obsession. Her Son... And Her Lover

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Handamde Films Website

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 July 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Track 29 - Ein gefährliches Spiel See more »

Filming Locations:

Wilmington, North Carolina, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$429,028
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

HandMade Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several years earlier, in 1983, Joseph Losey planned to make a film out of Dennis Potter's screenplay with Lee Marvin in a leading role. It would have been Losey's first film in his native America for over thirty years. At the last minute, financing fell through. Losey died the following year. See more »

Quotes

Henry Henry: If there's one thing I've learned in this world, it's that women and trains don't mix!
See more »

Connections

Features Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

Mother
Words and Music by John Lennon
© 1971 Northern Songs
Performed by The Plastic Ono Band (uncredited)
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User Reviews

 
Toot, toot!
5 August 2007 | by lost-in-limboSee all my reviews

In a small southern American town, housewife Linda Henry lives a unsatisfied life and wants a child to fulfil that gap, but her husband Henry seems more concerned about his model trains and receiving his fetish spanking from nurse Stein. One day in a diner, an odd and mysterious young English lad Martin approaches Linda and her friend. He seems to appear where she is, so when another confrontation eventuates. He admits to being her son, which he was taken from her at birth when she was a teenager, due to the reasoning of his conception. This newfound responsibility is bittersweet for Linda, but has it come at a price for her well-being.

Bizarre, extremely bizarre… and sultry! Nicholas Roeg's "Track 29" is really hard to fathom, which can make it quite frustrating, due to the fact the pieces of this hysterically traumatic psychological puzzle never come to be one. Maybe that was on purpose, as the dysfunctional characters (usually lurking in small town settings) we follow seem rather disconnected, never quite sure of themselves and longing for something which could lead to an emotional breakdown. This exploration into the protagonists' wavering consciousness brings out many facets, like revelations of the past and those things that matter most for them to feel anything. The obsessive nature takes hold, where torment and frustration develops with neurotic results, which could finally lose out to fantasy, because reality and their situation is just to hard to come to grips with. Because of that, Dennis Potter's unbalanced, warped screenplay really does put you on the spot and throws around plenty of eye-boggling surreal passages. Symbolic clues feature thickly throughout and the themes that drown the moody, but complex script leave a strong imprint. While I don't think it's all-successful in conveying its ideas, it's still very interesting to watch.

Building it up is the unusual kinky charge, perversely pitch-black humour and a terror-away performance by the nutty Gary Oldman. Boy, Oldman annoys with his infantile portrayal, but that peculiar intensity he generates and his edgy rapport with co-star Theresa Russell has you hypnotised. The two have some curious exchanges. Russell projects a fully realised performance, that bubbles, but you also feel her growing pain and uncertainty of her fragile character. Too bad about the southern accent though. Christopher Lloyd goes offbeat too, but more so in an understated and controlled turn. Sandra Bernhard's Nurse Stein makes an impression. Roeg's leisurely paced direction might not be as beautifully visceral, but winning out is a very gleeful and excessive approach that's high quality. Like Oldman's character, Roeg lets it play out like a kooky tantrum with a lingering mean-streak. The leering camera-work seems to hover on its shots awkwardly, or give it a smothering feeling, and the simmering music score is been kept under-wraps.

Another original and provocative piece of work into the realm of surrealistic ambiguity combined with expressive allegories and a sensually twisted flavour. This one really challenges the viewer (like most of Roeg's work), then highly entertains.


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