Film Greats: John Frankenheimer’s ‘The Train’ (1964)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Edwin Pereyra, Apr 15, 2002.

  1. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 1998
    Messages:
    3,500
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Train from director John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate, Ronin and Reindeer Games) has garnered a “classic” status in many corners. There are those who claim that this is one of the finest war movies ever made.
    For those of you not familiar with this film, it is set in 1944 and tells the story of how the French Resistance tried to stop a train on its way to Germany full of precious art taken from a French museum by a German colonel.
    Paul Scofield plays the German colonel obsessed in getting the art across France and into Germany before the Resistance can stop him, headed by Burt Lancaster. Both actors are very good in this film. Lancaster even performed his own stunts that left him with an injured leg – a situation that ended up being written into the film. The film itself, is beautifully shot in black and white and is inspired by an actual event.
    The Train is more than an action thriller. It also asks the question what things are worth preserving and worth fighting for. One of the film’s strengths is how it is able to capture realism in staging its action sequences with its rich set pieces. The bombing raids and the train crashes are simply amazing to look at as real equipment are used and destroyed. Frankenheimer is able to create tension throughout the film with his camera work.
    One final note: It is interesting to see how this film, without the use of subtitles, was able to handle and distinguish the German from the French characters. A critical scene at a train station stop involving the French posing as German soldiers came off rather interesting.
    - - -
    Film Greats – A continuing quick look at motion pictures that, in one way or another, have been called “great films” by some. Other Films In This Series: Jim Sheridan’s My Left Foot : Federico Fellini’s Nights Of Cabiria : John Badham’s WarGames
    ~Edwin
     
  2. Steve Enemark

    Steve Enemark Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    482
    Likes Received:
    0
    Right on, Edwin. I just saw The Train last month on TCM, and it blew me away. Frankenheimer just could not do wrong in those days, and Burt Lancaster and Paul Scofield are both in top form. Highly recommended!
     
  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    29,689
    Likes Received:
    5,010
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert
    Edwin,

    I'm running out of time but I wanted to acknowledged your thread by saying that "The Train" is another personal favorite of mine and the Frankenheimer/Lancaster combination done some fine work in the early 1960's. In his heyday, Frankenheimer was one of the best directors around.

    Crawdaddy
     
  4. BarryR

    BarryR Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Messages:
    647
    Likes Received:
    64
    Location:
    Earth
    Real Name:
    BARRY RIVADUE
    Anyone who admires THE TRAIN (as I do too) should also see 1965's THE HILL, starring Sean Connery and directed by Sidney Lumet. It's a brutal, uncompromising WWII film set in a British military prison, brilliantly photographed in black and white. It's a very good companion piece to THE TRAIN. It was on TCM recently, and will run again sooner or later.
     
  5. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 1998
    Messages:
    3,500
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  6. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    29,689
    Likes Received:
    5,010
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert
    The thing I like about Frankenheimer is that he loves to talk about his movies which translates well in his audio commentaries. I believe he is one of the best for providing excellent DVD audio commentaries. He had a special relationship with Burt Lancaster which is why they've done so many films together. Yesterday, I pulled out my DVD of "The Train" and watched it again and to make that movie today would cost a whole bunch of money due to the actual trains being wrecked. Anyhow, below is some of my favorite Frankenheimer films:
    • The Young Savages
    • Birdman of Alcatraz
    • All Fall Down
    • The Manchurian Candidate
    • The Train
    • Seven Days in May
    • Seconds
    • Grand Prix
    • The Gypsy Moths
    • Ronin
    The titles in bold are already released on DVD. Also, next month, Turner Classic Movies is featuring three Frankenheimer films on the night of May 17th and early morning of May 18th. These are the following times:
    • The Young Savages - May 17th @ 10:15 p.m. ET
    • Seven Days in May - May 18th @ 12:00 a.m. ET
    • All Fall Down - May 18th @ 4:00 a.m. ET
    Crawdaddy
     
  7. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2000
    Messages:
    9,467
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Train is excellent, I was surprised by how moving the ending is. Burt does look a bit out of place opposite Jeanne Moreau and the other French actors, though.

    Just saw Seconds the other day and liked it as well, though I wouldn't rate it as high as The Train, Manchurian Candidate, or Seven Days In May.
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    29,689
    Likes Received:
    5,010
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert
     
  9. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2000
    Messages:
    12,251
    Likes Received:
    1
    Edwin, thanks for starting this thread. I was beginning to think I was the only one on the forum who'd seen The Train! Well, it was featured in George Kaplan's recent Train Movies Tournament over in Polls, but ended up losing out to North By Northwest. Go figure. [​IMG]
     
  10. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 1998
    Messages:
    3,500
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  11. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2001
    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Train, a very good film, beleive it or not, I saw it in 1964 and haven't seen it ever since. It's black and white, but I can't recall if the cinematography was good. Did Scofield won Best Actor (A Man for All Seasons) after The Train ? Or was it right before ?

    I beleive Sidney Lumet and Sean Connlery also teamed up for one of my favorite films, The Anderson Tapes, which I think was after The Hill ?
     
  12. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    29,689
    Likes Received:
    5,010
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert
    Scofield won Best Actor in 1966.

    Crawdaddy
     
  13. BarryR

    BarryR Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Messages:
    647
    Likes Received:
    64
    Location:
    Earth
    Real Name:
    BARRY RIVADUE
    Lumet also directed Connery in THE OFFENCE and MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS.
     
  14. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 1998
    Messages:
    3,500
    Likes Received:
    0
    With John Frankenheimer's passing away, it is all the more appropriate to highlight one of his better films.

    ~Edwin
     
  15. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2000
    Messages:
    6,082
    Likes Received:
    306
    I have seen this title several times at Future Shop. It was selling for around $15 dollars and I almost bought a copy several times. What stopped me was 1) the packaging made it look like one of those bad Italian war movies and 2) it isn't anamorphic. After reading the comments here it seems the movie is a lot better than the packaging made it appear to be. The only thing stopping me now, is that it isn't anamorphic. I'm worried that a person will buy this disc and then find out they are putting out a new version with an anamorphic transfer. I'm getting tired of buying discs twice because they don't do it right the first time. How is the transfer on this movie, considering it is non-anamorphic?
     
  16. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 1998
    Messages:
    3,500
    Likes Received:
    0
     

Share This Page