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Soul Asylum: Runaway Train (1993)

One of the greatest hit songs of the 1990's, Soul Asylum's clip not only presents one of the band's greatest hits but also works as a public service utility while working on theme of ... See full summary »

Director:

Tony Kaye
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Soul Asylum ... Soul Asylum
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Joshua Janiak Joshua Janiak ... Runaway child
David Pirner ... David Pirner
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Storyline

One of the greatest hit songs of the 1990's, Soul Asylum's clip not only presents one of the band's greatest hits but also works as a public service utility while working on theme of missing/runaway children. The video featured images of missing kids from that period and the month/year they were last seen. Along with those, there's images of the band performing the song and few scenes that portray possible real scenarios of many missing kids out there. Written by Rodrigo Amaro

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Genres:

Short | Musical

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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

1993 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Runaway Train
Written by David Pirner
Performed by Soul Asylum
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User Reviews

 
More than just a clip, it was a special service to society
31 March 2016 | by Rodrigo_AmaroSee all my reviews

Soul Asylum's mega-hit song "Runaway Train" was one of those greatest music moments from the 1990's, no doubt about that, like it or not - as a matter of fact, wasn't near of being part of my favorite tunes. The lyrics, the inspired beat or that memorable guitar, you name it, there's something catchy about that song...but what strikes as innovative and worthy of admiration is the video for the song, directed by Tony Kaye, showing that clips are a lot more than just entertainment, they can also be a helpful social service for the community.

If there was something similar before, I don't remember. The clip presents the band performing the song, inter-cut with images of children going through life-threatening situations (actors performing); and pictures of real missing children, who disappeared in the early 1990's, from different ages (the youngest was just 2 years-old). There's disclaimers with the kids names and the date/last time they were seen. That's what grabbed my attention with such power that I just couldn't take my eyes off the video, and even started to appreciate more that repetitive song that kept playing everywhere. A testament of an era when clips were still a giant media, this one has the precise direction of Kaye, a few years apart from making his masterpiece "American History X".

And comes with a happy ending: most of the missing kids featured in the video were found and returned home - one particular case, it wasn't a good return, it involved a girl who ran away with her boyfriend, and after the clip, had to return to live with her abusive parents. Another interesting fact on the service announcement used by the video is that depending on the country where the video was broadcast, they would change the missing kids nationality e.g. the U.S. clip had American kids (there's 3 versions in America, each pertinent to the region where the kids were last seen); the UK had British kids; and so forth but not all that globally, unfortunately.

But also comes with the sad part: as of this review, there's five children still missing; in the Australia clip some of the missing teens or kids later were discovered to be victims of one of the most notorious serial killers during the 1990's, and a similar thing happened with two kids who appeared in the UK version; and the very last kid (from the version I've seen), the fore-mentioned 2 year-old boy is declared missing even though there's a deeply disturbing story that is not even worth mentioning here. The clip's idea is valid and worthy of praise; it didn't need to be totally true to what the musicians had to say about children running away from dangers at home; it shows that life is a lot more complex than that: some kids wanted to run away, but there were others who were kidnapped, suffered in the hands of strangers, or just got lost.

Today might feel dated but still holds a significant importance. One of my favorite videos. 9/10


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