7.1/10
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133 user 186 critic

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.

Director:

Jonathan Teplitzky

Writers:

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

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Cast

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 ... Young Takeshi Nagase
Bryan Probets 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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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 »
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Details

Country:

Switzerland | UK | Australia

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

23 May 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Un pasado imborrable See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$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:

$4,438,438

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$24,123,142
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

When he goes up line to collect a bit of equipment for the radio the scene shows POWs working on the track with picks and sledge hammers though the track has clearly been laid for quite some time as there are weeds growing.... See more »

Quotes

[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.
See more »

Connections

References Brief Encounter (1945) See more »

Soundtracks

"Rasputin'
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

 
An astonishing story about two former enemies in a lesser-known front of World War II
8 September 2013 | by AritSee all my reviews

The Pacific theater of the second world war is often characterized by a number of such decisive battle fields as Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. The Railway Man is a reminder of the madness of war that reached beyond those well-known battle fields and the profound effects it had on individuals who fought in the Southeast Asia region.

Colin Firth embodies the suffering of Eric Lomax, a veteran who still experiences post-traumatic nightmares decades after the war. Nicole Kidman plays his wife Patti with utmost grace and compassion, and Stellan Skarsgård's portrayal is nothing short of perfection as he plays the fellow veteran who is also torn by his friend's immeasurable pain. Rounding out the strong performances is Hiroyuki Sanada's Nagase, a former translator of the Imperial Japanese Army who took considerable part in Eric's torture.

While the flashback scenes led by younger actors (Jeremy Irvine and Tanroh Ishida) could use some improvements, the current post-war scenes are recreated to near perfection with mature performances from the more experienced cast members. It is also noteworthy that the film does not hesitate for a moment to refute the wrong notion associated with "tragedy of war," a term often misused to make a war sound as if it were a mere chance event and not a product of malice. The film makes it clear the pain inflicted upon Eric Lomax is nothing but an act of crime, and from that accord comes an unusual relationship between two former enemies that only a film based on a true account can deliver.


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