6.8/10
3,789
23 user 31 critic

Rails & Ties (2007)

PG-13 | | Drama | 18 April 2008 (Brazil)
Trailer
0:30 | Trailer

On Disc

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A deadly collision between a train and car lead to an unlikely bond between the train engineer and a young boy who escapes the carnage.

Director:

Alison Eastwood

Writer:

Micky Levy
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Bacon ... Tom Stark
Marcia Gay Harden ... Megan Stark
Miles Heizer ... Davey Danner
Marin Hinkle ... Renee
Eugene Byrd ... Otis Higgs
Bonnie Root ... Laura Danner
Steve Eastin ... N.B. Garcia
Laura Cerón ... Susan Garcia
Margo Martindale ... Judy Neasy
Kathryn Joosten ... Mrs. Brown
Steven M. Porter ... Howie Pugh
Jim Cody Williams ... Vince the Engineer
Kerri Randles ... Rosanna
Stephen Peace ... Bartender
Robert Harvey Robert Harvey ... Administrator #1
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Storyline

Train fanatic Tom Stark's job enjoyment stops shielding him from grief over his wife Megan's now terminal cancer when Laura Danner commits suicide by planting her car on the railway just before Tom's train arrives. Tom's colleague Otis, who never got over a hobo doing the same on foot, resigns, Tom is suspended. It's even worse for Laura's fatherless son Davey, who loses his home too. He escapes from a monstrous foster-ma's home and tracks down Tom's home. Megan, who was about to leave without allowing him to get closer again during her last weeks, promises to stay if they take on Davey. Boy and childless couple soon grow on each-other, but a social worker is on Davey's trail. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When life comes apart, love puts it back together.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements, an accident scene, brief nudity and momentary strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 April 2008 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Yollar ve Baglar See more »

Filming Locations:

Fillmore, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,032, 26 October 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$18,718, 4 November 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Malpaso Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kevin Bacon and Marcia Gay Harden previously worked together in the movie Mystic River (2003). See more »

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User Reviews

 
A decent melodrama
8 February 2009 | by LeroyBrown-2See all my reviews

I know very little of this movie until I saw it. All I know is that it's about a railroad engineer and his wife who's suffering from cancer. There's another element in the movie that I didn't know about until I saw the movie and it's about a young boy who has a troubled mother. Somehow the lives of the couple and the young boy would intersect literally and tragically. All this sounds like a melodrama from the 1930s. And in many ways it is, but it also has a brutal frankness in it that the 1930s movies didn't have.

The movie stars Kevin Bacon as the train engineer and his wife played by Marcia Gay Harden, we could see that there's a riff in their marriage. He would much rather work than spend time with his wife even though his boss is telling him he could have some time off. She doesn't understand why he's being so distant. It's obvious he's burying himself in work as she faces a dire future. This part of the movie is very frank as we see the despondency both have.

The other element in the movie is the boy played by Miles Heizer. He has a troubled mother, it's obvious he has become the adult in the relationship. He enters the engineer's world angrily and he blamed the engineer for the death of his mother. The engineer's wife would take pity on him and soon he finds himself staying with them. Somehow the tragedy that took the boy's mother would bring something that the boy has never had and the couple thought they lost.

It's really a simple melodrama but it has a frankness in it that they would never consider in the 1930s. One unforgettable scene is when she looked at herself in the mirror and see the scar cancer has left and breaks down, while he was on the other side of the door not knowing what to do. During one argument he blurts out angrily "Because You had cancer", it sounds as if he were angry at her. Obviously he's angry at the disease for what it has taken away from him, the possibility of children and now his wife. Also when the boy was crying out blaming himself for the death of those he love. It's very honest and frank how children sometime blame themselves for things they do not understand.

Credit and blame goes to both the writer Mickey Levy and director Allison Eastwood created a group of characters who are very complex and are facing difficult situations but then it spirals into sentimentality. The story of the engineer and his wife by itself is powerful then add the story of the boy trying to go on with his life and understand what's going on would make the movie even more powerful but when the two story is combined it became too sentimental.

Miss Eastwood's directing style is very similar to that of her father, tell the story in a straightforward way and get out of the way of the actors, The acting is superb, it's obvious that both Mr. Bacon and Miss Harden are very good actors but young Mr. Heizer proves too that he has talent. He's definitely a young talent to keep an eye on.

All in all I think it's a good modern melodrama but with the frankness of modern times but then it spiraled into an almost shameless, unabashed treacle.


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