7.1/10
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132 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 »
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Popularity
4,961 ( 2,891)
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

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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

The film uses compressed time to speed up the story. Eric Lomax and Patti Lomax did meet in 1980, but in reality they didn't marry until 1983. Eric didn't learn that Takashi Nagase was still alive until 1993, and they finally met in 1995. See more »

Goofs

The motorcycle with a sidecar is actually a modern Chinese model Chang Jiang. (at around 49 mins) 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.
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Connections

Version of Everyman: Prisoners in Time (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Introduction (Prelude) from Gadfly Suite
Performed by Ukraine National Symphony Orchestra and Theodore Kuchar (Conductor)
Composed by Dmitri Shostakovich (as D. Shostakovich)
Published by Native Tongue Publishing
Licensed Courtesy of Select Audio Visual Distribution on behalf of Naxos
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User Reviews

 
Good film, with some pacing issues
6 September 2013 | by goystonSee all my reviews

Had the opportunity to see this at its world premiere in Toronto tonight, where we were joined not only by the stars, but also by Patti Lomax, the wife of the real-life Eric Lomax, on whose autobiography this film was based.

The story is unique and interesting, and is told with a series of flashbacks to Eric Lomax, our protagonist's (Firth), experiences of WW2. As the film is set in fairly dreary locations (prison camps and drab apartments), it's not the most visually exciting thing to watch, and the edit/pacing leaves a bit to be desired - at several points, we find the present-day Eric Lomax (Firth) suddenly transported back to his POW camp in Asia without anything to clue us off as to whether he travelled there (a single plane shot would've done it) or, as in at least one case, is hallucinating.

Still, a good story and well acted by Firth with support from Nicole Kidman as his wife - although the real show-stealers are Jeremy Irvine as young Lomax, and Hiroyuki Sanada as Nagase, the Japanese translator and Lomax's tormentor.


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