Von Ryan's Express
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- Remastered Stereo Soundtrack
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
Trevor Howard and Edward Mulhare (Known best for his roles in American television shows such as The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, and Knight Rider)co-star. Also, look for Wolfgang Preis reprising the role of a German officer for the un-teenth time in his long career (The Longest Day, Anzio, Raid on Rommel, A Bridge Too Far, Battle of the Commandos, The Train, Is Paris Burning?, Ike the War Years, etc.).
The story, either incidentally or accidentally, mirrors several actual events that took place at abandoned Italian POW camps after the armistice. The Italian guards quit their posts and Allied prisoners awoke to find no one minding the camp. The Germans eventually moved in to establish authority, but in the few interim days there was a power vacuum. Though the real life stories never involved stealing trains, there are dozens of stories of weakened and malnourished British and Commonwealth former POWs fleeing the approaching Germans.
The film has nonstop action, train chases, aerial attacks and scenic Italian locations. According to an article by Wolfgang Preis, the interior train scenes were filmed in Hollywood. Actor James Brolin, who was under contract to 20th Century Fox, makes yet another appearance in a FOX movie.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Always enjoy Frank Sinatra. Love this movies and have seen it many time. 3 stars only because it is dated compared to todays films.Published 10 days ago by Barry Shapiro
Good entertainment based on a very serious subject. Totally implausible story line, but has some good acting and occasional good comedy.Published 17 days ago by BigDPilot
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