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The Train (1965)

Burt Lancaster , Paul Scofield , Arthur Penn , John Frankenheimer  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (281 customer reviews)

Price: $68.43 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Burt Lancaster, Paul Scofield, Jeanne Moreau, Suzanne Flon, Michel Simon
  • Directors: Arthur Penn, John Frankenheimer
  • Writers: Albert Husson, Frank Davis, Franklin Coen, Howard Dimsdale, Nedrick Young
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: February 23, 1999
  • Run Time: 133 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (281 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 079284047X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,316 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Train" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Music only track
  • 8-page booklet featuring production notes

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Paris, August 1944. With the Allied army closing in, German commander and art fanatic Colonel von Waldheim (Paul Scofield) steals a vast collection of rare French paintings and loads them onto a train bound for Berlin. But when a beloved French patriot is murdered while trying to sabotage von Waldheim's scheme, Labiche (Burt Lancaster), a stalwart member of the Resistance, vows to stop the train at any cost. Calling upon his vast arsenal of skills, Labiche unleashes a torrent of devastation anddestructionloosened rails, shattered tracks and head-on collisionsin an impassioned, suspense-filled quest for justice, retribution and revenge. Inspired by an actual event and highlighted by spectacular stuntwork and visual effects, The Train is "an edge-of-your-seat, thrilling, suspenseful and superior film" (The Motion Picture Guide).

This is one of John Frankenheimer's breathless gems--all marvelous action that never lets up. Burt Lancaster plays a French train engineer during the waning days of the German occupation who tries to prevent Nazi colonel Paul Scofield from transporting a precious art collection back to Germany. Utilizing sabotage and cunning deception, Lancaster and his Resistance colleagues stall for time with the Allies on their way. It's a brilliantly made film, showing off Lancaster's acrobatic skills (he performed all of his own stunts) and Frankenheimer's sense of pacing and brilliant use of space. It's choreographed with the utmost precision (those are real explosions during the pivotal strafing sequence) and extremely authentic in its details. Lancaster is in rare minimalist form, and Scofield manages to extract intelligence and sympathy. A firecracker action film shot in crisp black and white, with yet another telling audio commentary by the always instructive director. --Bill Desowitz

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
127 of 130 people found the following review helpful
When Burt Lancaster called on director John Frankeheimer yet again to rescue another picture from another director who had left the project, the call took Frankenheimer to Paris to bring his brilliant black and white extreme depth of focus shots to bear on thought provoking subject matter.
La Bisch, the unwilling resistance man late in WWII (Lancaster) is pitted despite his objections against a cultured German general who is attempting to take every painted masterpiece out of Paris that can be found.
Knowing that delays to shipment in the face of the german retreat and allied advance, La Bisch uses both ingenuity and enormous physical effort to attempt to block the movement of a train laden with stolen art, eastbound from Paris.
The plot twists are the stuff of legend, and each twist provokes controversial positions regarding the importance of art and the brevity of human life.
The long shot action scenes in this film are brilliant, and Lancaster, who was injured during filming, performs much of the extraordinary scenes in the movie with a real (not feigned) limp.
Fine ensemble cast, including many of the best French character actors of the time, a serious script saved by brevity from the melodramatic and arguably the best camerawork and editing of any action film in history (you read right) make this film superior to Frankenheimer's other B&W films from the period (e.g., The Manchurian Candidate and even The Birdman of Alcatraz).
The Train belongs in any serious English language cine collection. This is one of the top 100 films of all time.
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68 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps Frankenheimer�s Best December 2, 2001
By Mad Dog
Fankenheimer is a director's director - something of an icon in contemporary American Film. He has worked with the best, and has made some of the most innovative and intelligent movies of the last forty years. While always a director of "smart" films, he mastered the action-film early in his career and to a certain extent this has over-shadowed his deeper (and darker) side.
On a superficial level "The Train" is the last of the "full-scale" action films. They blow up everything in sight for real, they crash real steam-locomotives, and many of the actors are doing their own stunts. In fact Burt Lancaster not only does all his own stunts, he stands in for other actors too!
But unlike most action-flicks, "The Train" goes deeper. Lancaster plays the French resistance leader asked to stop Nazi Colonel Paul Schofeild from leaving Paris with a train load of paintings. "Let them have the paintings," Lancaster replies. He doesn't see the point in risking anyone's life for a work of art. "But they are the soul of France". And this is where the real interest (and the subtext) starts.
Imagine your house is on fire. You run inside and you can save your favorite pet, or the Van Gogh hanging on the wall. What do you choose? Well that's the thesis behind "The Train" - why are these paintings worth dying for? Why are they worth killing for? (Incidentally Lancaster took a similar position a few years later in "Castle Keep"). Lancaster could care less about the paintings. And Schofeild will kill anyone and anything that tries to stop him leaving with them. Not only is it a clash of cultures, it's a clash about culture.
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Renoir, Cezanne, Degas, Matisse, , ... July 30, 2000
By Melimar
John Frankenheimer's "The Train" is an outstanding Black and White WWII ("action") film from the unforgettable 60's, when much emphasis was placed on good acting and characterization.
Close to the end of the war, while withdrawing, the Nazis attempted to lute famous French museums, and transport to Germany art treasures, hundreds of paintings of world fame - part of France's national identity. Among many popular French performers, such as Michel Simon ("Le diable et les dix commandements") and Jeanne Moreau ("Jules et Jim") - remember ? we've seen her in Beson's "La Femme Nikita") shine America's unforgettable Burt Lancaster as Labiche, the French "cheminot" who opposes England's Paul Scofield, perfectly cast as von Waldheim, the German colonel obsessed with "his mission" to "save" the painting by having them transported by train from Paris to Berlin.
Real life adventure with a believable plot, attention to details, image, dialogues, and ever growing tension until the final "denouement". It's the same director who gave us the more recent "Ronin" (filmed in France), and classics, such as "Seven Days in May" (also with Burt Lancaster) and "The Manchurian Candidate", and, if want to see more of Paul Scofield, consider watching one more time, Fred Zinneman's "A Man of All Seasons".
Very good DVD rendition of a truly great film from John Frankenheimer !
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the all-time best March 14, 2000
This DVD version of "The Train" includes all of the little perks that make watching a movie at home worthwile. Fans of both Frankenheimer and Lancaster will be very pleased with this edition as it shines in widescreen, every frame looking as though it was shot recently. This film offers the direction of Frankenheimer during his most productive and successful years. Fans of the director's "Ronin" will enjoy the realistic stuntwork and lack of special-FX. Any movie buff that has never experienced Frankenheimer's style will be surprised at how it differs from similar films of the era, and how modern it feels. The audio commentary by the director is also a huge plus for any film buffs. This film comes highly recommended to fans of the film and newcomers alike.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Frankenheimer rules "Guy Movies!"
John Frankenheimer is a great "Man's Man's" Director! The testosterone levels of this as well as most of his production classics is off the charts! Read more
Published 3 days ago by jbkmd
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A remarkable performance by Burt Lancaster and Paul Scofield.
Published 14 days ago by Robert B LaPorte
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
so nice, a very smart story.
Published 17 days ago by A. SUMBILLO
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Prompt delivery of this fine product.
Published 23 days ago by Rob Wagner
5.0 out of 5 stars In My Memory, "The Train" Keeps Rolling
Had you been a Hollywood insider before this film was made in '64, you might have seen its non-fictional story treatment floating around town:

Early August 1944 in... Read more
Published 23 days ago by Tom Gregg
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great movie but I wanted a hard copy DVD or BluRay
Published 23 days ago by Eugene Kipp
5.0 out of 5 stars great story and Burt Lancaster excellent
great story and Burt Lancaster excellent, and much better than the recent monuments Men. also Paul Schofield was an "intellectual" Nazi--2 years later he got the Academy... Read more
Published 29 days ago by richard farmer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie lots action and a good story.
Published 1 month ago by bogey
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
It's a great movie - in excellent condition - am very pleased with it!
Published 1 month ago by Louise F. Achor
1.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't play
Doesn't work in DVD player. Will try to return.
Published 1 month ago by arby4444
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