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The Last Pullman Car (1983)

n , a , Gordon Quinn , Jerry Blumenthal  |  NR |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: n, a
  • Directors: Gordon Quinn, Jerry Blumenthal
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kartemquin Films
  • DVD Release Date: September 28, 2012
  • Run Time: 56 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008KZY0HG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #307,839 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews


Never intrusive and avoiding obvious, human interest techniques 'Pullman Car' makes the members of local 1834 come alive on their own terms… By the time the film is over it's impossible to distance oneself from the plight of these workers who are being shunted aside by their company, by their legislators, and by society as a whole. --Larry Kart, Chicago Tribune

This film is a battlecry! --Studs Terkel

Product Description

In 1864, George Pullman began selling his famous railroad sleeping cars which helped him build a vast industrial empire that was supposed to last forever. In 1981, however, Pullman workers found themselves in the midst of a fight not only for their jobs but the future of the American rail car industry. One hundred years of government, union and corporate policies are traced in this engaging story.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and moving September 7, 2012
Star rating: 4/5

This past Labor Day, I caught an airing of this fine documentary on WTTW. Throughout the film's 56 minutes, the viewer is invited to struggle and protest along with the union workers who face pressing threat of unemployment. The setting is Chicago in the early '80s, and the Pullman Company has decided to discontinue the manufacturing of bi-level sleeping cars. However, the dutiful employees are not given much in terms of advance notice or compensation, which is especially distressing considering that the U.S. railroad industry was once so ripe with opportunities.

The Last Pullman Car is presented in a simple yet classic documentary style, featuring a narrated history of the railroad industry and a number of on-site interviews with America's ordinary working men and women. We don't learn a lot about the workers but their situations are evidently quite serious, as one man notes that the frustration inspired by sudden unemployment is what causes women to disown their husbands. We see workers traveling to Springfield, attempting to explain their concerns to political figures. Their heart is in this fight because it is what their collective well-being truly depends on. Sadly, the ending isn't exactly an uplifting one, but it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone familiar with the power of big business.

This Kartemquin Films release brought to DVD by the good people at Facets Multi-Media is a bit brief, but is nonetheless a powerful and informative document of human perseverance and some of the more unfortunate realities of corporate America's relationship with the real people who keep it going.
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Not a story of the famed Sleeping Car but rather the near extinct USA Passenger Car building. Once a great industry with a strong union this is a Union documentary about the loss of both. Not a happy story.
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