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The Railway Man (2013)

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A former British Army officer, who was tortured as a prisoner of war at a Japanese labor camp during World War II, discovers that the man responsible for much of his treatment is still alive and sets out to confront him.


Jonathan Teplitzky


Frank Cottrell Boyce (screenplay), Andy Paterson (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
7 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Irvine ... Young Eric
Colin Firth ... Eric
Stellan Skarsgård ... Finlay
Nicole Kidman ... Patti
Michael MacKenzie Michael MacKenzie ... Sutton
Jeffrey Daunton Jeffrey Daunton ... Burton
Tanroh Ishida Tanroh Ishida ... Young Takeshi Nagase
Bryan Probets ... Major York
Tom Stokes ... Withins
Tom Hobbs ... Thorlby
Sam Reid ... Young Finlay
Akos Armont ... Jackson
Takato Kitamoto Takato Kitamoto ... Japanese Officer
Keith Fleming Keith Fleming ... Removal Man
Ben Aldridge ... Baliff


Eric Lomax was one of thousands of Allied prisoners of war forced to work on the construction of the Thai/Burma railway during WW2. His experiences, after the secret radio he built to bring news and hope to his colleagues was discovered, left him traumatised and shut off from the world. Years later, he met Patti, a beautiful woman, on a train and fell in love. Patti was determined to rid Eric of his demons. Discovering that the young Japanese officer who haunted her husband was still alive, she faced a terrible decision. Should Eric be given a chance to confront his tormentor? Would she stand by him, whatever he did? Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Revenge is never a straight line.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing prisoner of war violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



Switzerland | UK | Australia


English | Japanese

Release Date:

23 May 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Un pasado imborrable See more »


Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,230,483 (United Kingdom), 12 January 2014, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$61,845, 13 April 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Bridge where old Eric standing at the end of the movie is the famous Bridge on the River Kwai in Thailand. See more »


When Eric and Patti first meet on the train, Eric eats his homemade lunch and drinks from his thermos cup. When he exits the train he leaves the thermos on the table. See more »


[first lines]
Eric: At the beginning of time, the clock struck one. A drop of dew, and the clock struck two. From the dew grew a tree, and the clock struck three. Then the tree made a door, and the clock struck four. Then man came alive, And the clock struck five. Count not, waste not, the hours of the clock. Behold I stand at the door and knock.
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Featured in Projector: The Railway Man (2014) See more »


Performed by Sean Timms featuring Janine Baigent and Daniel Burgess
Composed by Frank Farian (as Farian), Fred Jay (as Jay) and George Reyam (as Reyam)
Published by Sony ATV Music Publishing
Licensed by Perfect Pitch Publishing on behalf of Timms Tunes
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User Reviews

Respectful but Dull Account of a Harrowing Experience
30 January 2014 | by l_rawjalaurenceSee all my reviews

Given the nature of the material, it seems rather churlish to criticize THE RAILWAY MAN. Based on Eric Lomax's autobiographical reminiscence, the film chronicles his experiences of working on the notorious Burma railway as a Japanese prisoner-of-war, and how such experiences continue to blight his existence, thirty-five years after the war has ended. Colin Firth gives an intense performance as Lomax - someone who tries his best to sustain a facade of respectability, but is basically unable to cope with life. His face screws up with pain; on other occasions it is almost expressionless. It is only when he plucks up the courage to return to Japan to confront the Japanese interrogator who tortured him all those years ago (Hiroyuki Sanada), that Lomax can work towards some kind of recovery. The film does an effective job of juxtaposing past and present: some of the sequences set in wartime are very difficult to watch, especially when the younger Lomax (Jeremy Irvine) is being tortured. Having said that, Jonathan Teplitzky's film is very slow- paced; there are too many redundant close-ups and/or pans of the Scottish landscape that impede the development of the plot. As Lomax's wife Patti, Nicole Kidman has an insignificant role; although she played a large part in helping her spouse on the road to recovery, we do not get this feeling in the film. On the contrary, she appears rather reticent, as if believing that to involve herself too much might worsen Lomax's condition. However the final confrontation between Lomax and his Japanese ex-captor is highly dramatic and well worth waiting for.

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