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Von Ryan's Express (1965)

Frank Sinatra , Trevor Howard , Mark Robson  |  PG |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)

Price: $22.50 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Frank Sinatra, Trevor Howard, Raffaella Carrà, Brad Dexter, Sergio Fantoni
  • Directors: Mark Robson
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: May 15, 2001
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000059HAG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #341,446 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Von Ryan's Express" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Remastered Stereo Soundtrack

Editorial Reviews

After being captured by the Nazis and taken to a POW camp in Italy, an American colonel (Frank Sinatra) rallies his mostly British fellow prisoners and devises a daring escape plan that hinges on hijacking a German train and riding it into Switzerland. Suspense-filled WWII saga also stars Trevor Howard, John Leyton, Edward Mulhare, and James Brolin in an early role. 116 min. Widescreen; Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital stereo, Dolby Digital mono, French Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: Spanish; theatrical trailer.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
67 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining WW2 movie June 17, 2002
By DH
Format:DVD
Von Ryan's Express is a WW2 movie deserving of classic status. The action is not exactly battlefield stuff, but the movie weaves an interesting plot into a tension filled escape of POW's from the Nazi's. Frank Sinatra's sleepy style compliments the role he plays as someone who has just escaped from a POW camp. The supporting cast all perform admirably and it is very refreshing to have a film where the Germans actually speak German and the Italians speak Italian. Made in 1965, the period when war movies were made in droves, Von Ryan's Express stood out amoung them as being that little bit different. What a great time I had in the late 60's and early 70's watching these movies and when this movie came out I found it so exciting. I have lost none of that enthusiasm for the movie today. It is one I regularly pull out of my DVD collection and give an airing. Okay, it doesn't have the polish of recent war movies but it has qualities that just can't be emulated even with the latest movie making technology. Highly recommended.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Von Ryan's Express belongs to the dying days of WW2-as-Boys-Own-adventure movies, where, for all the cynical window-dressing, the good guys can always outwit overwhelming numbers of Nazis and death is still heroic. It's also much more entertaining than it has any right to be as Frank Sinatra's unpopular new senior officer leads several hundred prisoners of war to freedom by hijacking a Nazi train and conning his way through Italy to Switzerland while Trevor Howard's old school British officer snipes at his bad form all the way and Edward Mulhare's loveable padre impersonates a German officer to get them past the checkpoints. Yep, it's The Great Escape meets The Train, with Great Escaper John Leyton along for the ride just in case anyone misses the connection. As big, not quite as dumb as it could be entertainment it certainly does the trick, throwing in an enjoyable if sparse Jerry Goldsmith score and a particularly memorable finale.

Sadly the new 2-DVD release really is hard to recommend for any but hardcore Jerry Goldsmith fans, the only notable extras being an isolated score track and a brief featurette on the composer. Aside from trailers and TV spots, the rest is made up with talking heads background featurettes with none of the films surviving participants contributing. Even worse is the fact that brief clips are used from a vintage behind the scenes short made during production, but the short itself is not included. It's fine for a first-time buy, but not really worth an upgrade if you already have the previous edition.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Plotted World War II Action Film May 28, 2003
Format:DVD
This movie has all the elements of a good action movie. The outcome is uncertain. The bad guys are really bad. The hero (Frank Sinatra) is idealistic and optimistic, and suffers from bad-decision angst more than once.
The movie starts in an Italian POW camp, commanded by a heartless Italian commander played by Adolfo Celi, who some may remember as Emilio Largo in the James Bond thriller "Thunderball". Colonel Joseph Ryan (Sinatra) is nicknamed "Von Ryan" as he initially appears to be collaborating with their captors. Ryan is very optimistic and continually sees opportunity in every situation. Major Eric Fincham, played by Trevor Howard, is a pessimist, and sees disaster at every turn. Further, these two men are in conflict because Major Fincham was the ranking POW until Frank Sinatra was captured.
As the Allies appear to be threatening the region, the Italians guarding the prison leave, and suddenly the POWs have a chance to escape. Their escape is short-lived as they are soon re-captured by Germans. The POWs are placed into boxcars for transport to Germany, with the exception of the wounded, who are executed by German soldiers prior to the train's departure.
As the train travels to Germany, Ryan decides that there may be an opportunity for escape. Ryan leads the creation of a plan to eliminate the guards and take over the train, with the goal of eventually leaving the train to head for the coast and potential reunion with Allied forces. After taking over the train, the POWs first attempt to escape is thwarted when they find themselves in the middle of an Allied bombing mission. The POWs then develop an even more creative plan to escape to Switzerland. In their bid to escape the POWs must fight off the Luftwaffe and a Nazi-led troop train following close behind.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best WWII Movie November 24, 1999
By Suzanne
Format:VHS Tape
This film gets my vote for the best WWII movie ever! It's got Trevor Howard as the penultimate crazy British colonel, and our man Frank as the no nonsense American Flying ace. The characters bring out interesting facts about the Italian Cooperation with the Germans (very half-hearted) during wwII and the sense of frustration and uncertainty during the closing days of the war on the part of all the countries involved. This film represents the sense of honor and integrity that were common among soldiers, at that time, and how human beings can have odd interpratations of these noble character traits.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Sinatra is a cool American, whose P-38 is shot down over Italy in August 1943... The Allies were landing in Southern Italy, when Ryan is brought to an Italian prisoner of war camp...

Sensing that the end is underway, the Italians were trying to get out of the war, and the Nazis were trying to keep the Allies out and the Italians in...

A Fascist bully (Adolfo Celi) has ruled the POW camp, but with the collapse of Italian rule, he is thrown out...

The British prisoners - professional soldiers of the 9th Fusiliers, whose constant attempts to escape have led to half rations and the withholding of medicine - headed by a heated Major (Trevor Howard), are not in agreement with the unpopular pilot, Colonel Joseph Ryan... They think him insufficiently hostile to the Italians and have given an insulting 'von" to his name, insisting that he is in the wrong army...

The British get along with Ryan, however, when the escape is engineered... They seize a German train, and, impersonating German troops even as they evade German pursuers, try to make a run for it to the Swiss border... The viewers can forget about realism from that moment on... 'Von Ryan's Express' is pure adventure and courts no moral dilemmas in its story...

Director Mark Robson tries to combine the suspense of 'The Great Escape' with the exciting action of 'The Guns of Navarone,' and he's successful enough... The pace is quick... The Italian locations are attractive... The confrontations with German troops are well handled...

Ryan is a pragmatic character not unlike the far more tragic Col. Nicholson in 'The Bridge on the River Kwai.' As a colonel master-minding commando raids, he brings the film to a great climax on an Alpine viaduct...

With the exception of a strange and shocking scene where a sexy escapee is gunned down in the back, ' Von Ryan's Express' gives us the necessary thrills to be pleased...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss this movie
Classic Frank Sinatra, he really did know how to shoot a gun. I remember seeing this movie as a young boy and I still enjoy watching it to this day!
Published 21 hours ago by Jim Cole
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT MOVIE
One of the best World War II movies made. Lots of action and suspense and of course Frank Sinatra, who plays an exceptional role. Read more
Published 4 days ago by John Zito
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Movie
This movie interested me into watching more movies with Frank Sinatra in them. I now have quite a few Sinatra movies & I like all of them. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Jim
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best WWII movies of the era.
Frank, what's not to like about Frank? Trevor Howard, one of the best all time. A damn fine movie. One of the best WWII movies of the era.
Published 19 days ago by John Timmins
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Experience!
Great Movie! Arrived as expected and in new condition!! These old movies are not showing much anymore, which is why i decided to make a purchase.
Published 26 days ago by John D Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars Von Rayon Express
Very good, Frank Sinatra has shown he can act. I like war movies, he was also good in From Here To Eternity also.
Published 1 month ago by E. J. Green
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
A Giant of an action movie. The movie begins with the Italian Surrender to the Allies. It chronicles the plight of Allied POWs held in mainland Italy after the Italian Surrender... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Udayan Mallik
5.0 out of 5 stars VON RYAN'S EXPRESS
GREAT MOVIE, FRANK SINATRA IS SO GREAT, TREVOR HOWARD IS A GREAT ENGLISH ACTOR ALSO, JUST A GOOD MOVIE ABOUT THE HEROES OF THE WAR. MILITARY IS THE BEST.
Published 1 month ago by vysta a owen
3.0 out of 5 stars Sinatra miscasted in my opinion
Not everyone can play a hero and this may be an example of how important that is -- Frankie tried but it was hard to separate the man from the role.
Published 1 month ago by Geri H. Ball
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
I love this movie, one of my favorite war movies. The transfer quality is excellent. And it plays on my PC. And it got here quick (of course I have Prime, its supposed to). Read more
Published 1 month ago by Flybob
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