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The Train

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France, Italy, United States · 1964
2h 13m
Director John Frankenheimer
Starring Burt Lancaster, Paul Scofield, Jeanne Moreau, Suzanne Flon
Genre Action, Thriller, War

As the Allied forces approach Paris in August 1944, German Colonel Von Waldheim is desperate to take France's greatest paintings to Germany. In the chaos of retreat, he manages to secure a train to transport the valuable artwork. But the French Resistance is equally determined to stop him from stealing their national treasures.

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What are critics saying?


TV Guide Magazine by

A superior WWII film that provides plenty of edge-of-the-seat thrills, THE TRAIN also poses a rather serious philosophical question: is the preservation of art worth a human life?


The New York Times by Bosley Crowther

It is a vivid melodrama through which Mr. Lancaster bolts with all that straight, strong, American sporting instinct and physical agility for which he is famous.


Slant Magazine by Derek Smith

The Train makes unmistakably clear to us that heroism isn’t always black and white—that sometimes it’s simply about doing what’s right even if you don’t understand why.


Movie Nation by Roger Moore

In simplifying the stakes, narrowing the focus, giving us a fixed villain, and shooting in “WWII period piece” black and white, Frankenheimer gives us a riveting ride through a war fought over values and fundamental freedoms — among them, the freedom to create, value and appreciate whatever artistic expression you choose, and not just the oompah music, idealized landscapes and muscular propaganda of the tasteless goons in charge.


The Dissolve by Scott Tobias

Though The Train is a marvel of old-fashioned action craft, from invisible dolly shots of breathtaking sophistication to the careful staging of massive railway catastrophes, it’s not a thoughtless adventure by any means.

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