The Train


2h 20m 1965
The Train

Brief Synopsis

French resistance fighters try to stop the Nazis from taking a trainload of art treasures to Germany.

Film Details

Also Known As
Le train, treno
Genre
Action
Thriller
War
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jan 1965
Premiere Information
New York opening: 17 Mar 1965
Production Company
Ariane; Dear Film; Les Productions Artistes Associés
Distribution Company
United Artists
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the book Le front de l'art; défense des collections françaises 1939--1945 by Rose Valland (Paris, 1961).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 20m
Sound
Stereo
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.66 : 1

Synopsis

As Allied forces approach German-occupied Paris in the summer of 1944, a Wehrmacht officer, Col. Franz von Waldheim, receives orders from Göring to assemble the art treasures of the Jeu de Paume Museum and transport them to Germany. Mademoiselle Villard, curator of the museum, informs the Resistance of the plan and tries to persuade Labiche, area inspector of French railways, to intercept the priceless cargo. Labiche, however, is more concerned with saving lives than in preserving art, and he devotes his energies to sabotaging an armaments train. While Allied bombs are destroying the munitions, Papa Boule, an old railwayman, succeeds in burning out the engines of the train bearing the art treasures but pays for his act with his life. The enraged von Waldheim places Labiche in charge of moving the art train out of Paris. Labiche, now won over to the side of the Resistance mainly through the influence of a widowed hotelkeeper, Christine, arranges a complicated series of strategems that lead the Nazis to believe the train has passed into Germany while, in reality, it has merely been shuttled around Paris and returned to its original depot. Upon discovering the deception, von Waldheim places French hostages on the train and orders it moved. As Labiche once more intervenes by having it derailed, von Waldheim has the hostages shot; but his own men panic and join the retreating Wehrmacht. Left alone, the two equally obsessed men face each other. Labiche kills von Waldheim and walks slowly away, leaving scattered paintings on the tracks.

Film Details

Also Known As
Le train, treno
Genre
Action
Thriller
War
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jan 1965
Premiere Information
New York opening: 17 Mar 1965
Production Company
Ariane; Dear Film; Les Productions Artistes Associés
Distribution Company
United Artists
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the book Le front de l'art; défense des collections françaises 1939--1945 by Rose Valland (Paris, 1961).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 20m
Sound
Stereo
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.66 : 1

Award Nominations

Best Writing, Screenplay

1966

Articles

The Train


Questioning the sanity of war, even as it valorizes those who sacrificed their lives to win it, The Train (1964) is a World War II action film tinged with a Cold War sensibility from director John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate, 1962).

Arthur Penn (Bonnie and Clyde, 1967) was originally slated to direct the film but was relieved of his command less than one week into filming by star Burt Lancaster, who was also one of the film's producers. Lancaster was concerned that Penn was neglecting the story's potential for action and suspense, and remedied the situation by calling in Frankenheimer, who had directed Lancaster in The Young Savages (1961), Birdman of Alcatraz (1962) and Seven Days in May (1964). Frankenheimer in turn discarded Penn's footage, brought in his own writers to overhaul the script, and ultimately delivered the WWII thriller Lancaster had hoped for.

Lancaster stars as Labiche, a railway inspector and member of the French Resistance, who is asked to somehow detain a train loaded with priceless paintings - national treasures by Gauguin, Degas, Cezanne, Renoir and others - confiscated by the occupying forces. This sets in motion a series of elaborate deceptions, hairbreadth chases and ironic twists that constitute The Train's intricate and satisfying plot.

Shot almost entirely on location in France, the production faced unexpected difficulties, especially in regards to the inclement weather in Normandy. "The Allies couldn't invade Normandy until June," Frankenheimer later recalled, "and we were trying to shoot this thing in September and October when the fog comes rolling in from the Channel." Eventually, the production was shut down until the following spring, allowing the crew to shoot interior scenes in Paris and to begin assembling a cut of the film. Once the weather improved, they knew exactly what they needed to finish the picture.

Aside from the weather, there were many other challenges involved in making The Train. To film the bombing of a railway yard, special effects supervisor Lee Zavitz spent six weeks planting dynamite charges beneath the tracks of an actual rail yard (which the French government was already planning to tear apart and renovate), for a scene that lasts only 50 seconds. According to Newsweek, this brief sequence incorporated 140 separate explosions, 3,000 pounds of TNT and 2,000 gallons of gasoline. No miniatures were used in The Train, a fact that is readily apparent when one views such sequences of carefully-orchestrated destruction that punctuate the film's tightly-wound narrative.

A fine example of the film's life-sized special effects is a collision of two steam locomotives, which was not as simple as it appears. The tracks of the approaching train were dismantled and re-laid below ground level so the impact would be more dramatic, causing the locomotives to destroy one another and tear apart the earth around them rather than bouncing in different directions.

One sequence that proved to be unexpectedly complicated was the derailing of a slow-moving locomotive. Instead of approaching at the planned speed of seven miles per hour, the driver accidentally tripled the speed. As a result, the train left the rails and proceeded to destroy every camera in its path....except one. No crew members were injured, six cameras were demolished, and the sole surviving camera provided a shot better than anything Frankenheimer had anticipated: a close-up view of the catastrophe, concluding with one steel wheel spinning mere inches from the lens of the camera.

When a cut of the film was screened for United Artists executives, the producers were asked to add one more action sequence. Anticipating this request, Frankenheimer already had a scene in mind and, for an additional $500,000 (approximately $5 million by contemporary filmmaking standards) willingly provided it. This scene, of the train being strafed by a British Spitfire, racing toward the safety of a mountain tunnel, proved almost fatal to Frankenheimer and some of the crew. Filming from a helicopter just ahead of the train, the helicopter accidentally pulled into the path of the Spitfire as it sped toward the mountainside. "The Spitfire was roaring toward us at 300 miles an hour," Frankenheimer remembers, "I could see the pilot's face and he looked as terrified as I felt. He missed us by ten feet... My wife was watching on the ground, and she fainted."

Although the sequence is not closely tied to the rest of the plot, it is a masterful achievement of heightened and prolonged suspense that helped solidify The Train's reputation as one of the best action films of the 1960s.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Producer: Jules Bricken
Screenplay: Franklin Coen, Frank Davis, Walter Bernstein and (uncredited) Ned Young and Howard Dimsdale
Based on Le Front de l'Art by Rose Valland
Cinematography: Jean Tournier and Walter Wottitz
Production Design: Willy Holt
Music: Maurice Jarre
Cast: Burt Lancaster (Labiche), Paul Scofield (Col. Von Waldheim), Albert Remy (Didont), Jeanne Moreau (Christine), Michel Simon (Papa Boule), Suzanne Flon (Miss Villard), Wolfgang Preiss (Major Herren), Howard Vernon (Dietrich).
BW-140m. Letterboxed.

by Bret Wood

The Train

The Train

Questioning the sanity of war, even as it valorizes those who sacrificed their lives to win it, The Train (1964) is a World War II action film tinged with a Cold War sensibility from director John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate, 1962). Arthur Penn (Bonnie and Clyde, 1967) was originally slated to direct the film but was relieved of his command less than one week into filming by star Burt Lancaster, who was also one of the film's producers. Lancaster was concerned that Penn was neglecting the story's potential for action and suspense, and remedied the situation by calling in Frankenheimer, who had directed Lancaster in The Young Savages (1961), Birdman of Alcatraz (1962) and Seven Days in May (1964). Frankenheimer in turn discarded Penn's footage, brought in his own writers to overhaul the script, and ultimately delivered the WWII thriller Lancaster had hoped for. Lancaster stars as Labiche, a railway inspector and member of the French Resistance, who is asked to somehow detain a train loaded with priceless paintings - national treasures by Gauguin, Degas, Cezanne, Renoir and others - confiscated by the occupying forces. This sets in motion a series of elaborate deceptions, hairbreadth chases and ironic twists that constitute The Train's intricate and satisfying plot. Shot almost entirely on location in France, the production faced unexpected difficulties, especially in regards to the inclement weather in Normandy. "The Allies couldn't invade Normandy until June," Frankenheimer later recalled, "and we were trying to shoot this thing in September and October when the fog comes rolling in from the Channel." Eventually, the production was shut down until the following spring, allowing the crew to shoot interior scenes in Paris and to begin assembling a cut of the film. Once the weather improved, they knew exactly what they needed to finish the picture. Aside from the weather, there were many other challenges involved in making The Train. To film the bombing of a railway yard, special effects supervisor Lee Zavitz spent six weeks planting dynamite charges beneath the tracks of an actual rail yard (which the French government was already planning to tear apart and renovate), for a scene that lasts only 50 seconds. According to Newsweek, this brief sequence incorporated 140 separate explosions, 3,000 pounds of TNT and 2,000 gallons of gasoline. No miniatures were used in The Train, a fact that is readily apparent when one views such sequences of carefully-orchestrated destruction that punctuate the film's tightly-wound narrative. A fine example of the film's life-sized special effects is a collision of two steam locomotives, which was not as simple as it appears. The tracks of the approaching train were dismantled and re-laid below ground level so the impact would be more dramatic, causing the locomotives to destroy one another and tear apart the earth around them rather than bouncing in different directions. One sequence that proved to be unexpectedly complicated was the derailing of a slow-moving locomotive. Instead of approaching at the planned speed of seven miles per hour, the driver accidentally tripled the speed. As a result, the train left the rails and proceeded to destroy every camera in its path....except one. No crew members were injured, six cameras were demolished, and the sole surviving camera provided a shot better than anything Frankenheimer had anticipated: a close-up view of the catastrophe, concluding with one steel wheel spinning mere inches from the lens of the camera. When a cut of the film was screened for United Artists executives, the producers were asked to add one more action sequence. Anticipating this request, Frankenheimer already had a scene in mind and, for an additional $500,000 (approximately $5 million by contemporary filmmaking standards) willingly provided it. This scene, of the train being strafed by a British Spitfire, racing toward the safety of a mountain tunnel, proved almost fatal to Frankenheimer and some of the crew. Filming from a helicopter just ahead of the train, the helicopter accidentally pulled into the path of the Spitfire as it sped toward the mountainside. "The Spitfire was roaring toward us at 300 miles an hour," Frankenheimer remembers, "I could see the pilot's face and he looked as terrified as I felt. He missed us by ten feet... My wife was watching on the ground, and she fainted." Although the sequence is not closely tied to the rest of the plot, it is a masterful achievement of heightened and prolonged suspense that helped solidify The Train's reputation as one of the best action films of the 1960s. Director: John Frankenheimer Producer: Jules Bricken Screenplay: Franklin Coen, Frank Davis, Walter Bernstein and (uncredited) Ned Young and Howard Dimsdale Based on Le Front de l'Art by Rose Valland Cinematography: Jean Tournier and Walter Wottitz Production Design: Willy Holt Music: Maurice Jarre Cast: Burt Lancaster (Labiche), Paul Scofield (Col. Von Waldheim), Albert Remy (Didont), Jeanne Moreau (Christine), Michel Simon (Papa Boule), Suzanne Flon (Miss Villard), Wolfgang Preiss (Major Herren), Howard Vernon (Dietrich). BW-140m. Letterboxed. by Bret Wood

The Train on Blu-ray


Is art worth fighting for? Dying for? These are questions posed in The Train (1964), a thrilling WWII action picture, both to the characters in the story and to us, the audience. When the art in question is a treasure trove of French impressionist art ("the heritage of France"), at risk of being hauled out of the country by Nazis to an uncertain fate, the questions become all the more difficult to answer.

How refreshing it is for a movie filled with eye-popping, visceral, kinetic action to also center around such a thoughtful dilemma. The Train is not only gripping but timeless, because the issues at its core are timeless.

It's also timeless in the way director John Frankenheimer, working from an Oscar-nominated script by Franklin Coen and Frank Davis (along with three uncredited writers), crafts an efficient, no-nonsense style that grabs audience attention right off the bat. Nazi Colonel Von Waldheim (Paul Scofield) quietly enters a building to look admiringly at scores of great impressionist paintings hanging on the walls. "Degenerate art," he tells a French curator. "I should detest it." But it's clear he doesn't, even as he then oversees the crating up of all this art in preparation for shipment to Germany. These are the last days of the German occupation of France. The Allies are closing in fast, and Waldheim wants to spirit the art away to Germany on a special train. The curator, however, informs the local French resistance of the scheme, and the French train-yard chief, Labiche (Burt Lancaster), is asked to prevent the train from leaving, or to at least to delay it long enough until the Allies to arrive in a few days' time.

And so begins a cat and mouse game between Waldheim and Labiche, who at first is dead-set against risking any lives for the art. Eventually, however, Labiche becomes as determined to keep the train in France as Waldheim is obsessed with getting it out. Labiche and his men concoct clever, elaborate schemes to delay and reroute the train under the constant noses of brutal Nazis. Scofield is positively brilliant as Waldheim, whose love for the art makes him at best a complex Nazi, and Lancaster, at age 50, delivers one of his most physical performances -- running, jumping, climbing trains, scrambling over walls, and sliding down steep hills. And for the last section of the film he does all that with a limp, caused by a real mishap he had while golfing on a day off. Frankenheimer later called Burt Lancaster "the strongest man physically I've ever known. He was one of the best stuntmen who ever lived. I don't think anybody's ever moved as well on the screen."

Frankenheimer shoots many of Lancaster's stunts in long, complex takes, often having his star end the shot in close-up, as if to impress us (successfully) that it was in fact Lancaster doing his own stunt work. The long takes also allow the audience to feel the visceral reality of the action. In this film, the trains are real, the locations are real, and the explosions are real: full-scale, with no effects work. This creates genuine impact, and is all the more impressive today, fifty years on, because very few movies with such large-scale action are ever still made in this way.

The Train impresses in other ways, too. Almost every shot in the film employs razor-sharp deep-focus photography, resulting in one of the most beautiful black-and-white features of the era. (This is said to be the last great action movie done in black and white.) Frankenheimer's handling of crowd scenes is remarkable, with wide shots crammed with action and extras deep in the frame. Here again, the long takes reveal an unbelievable amount of complicated choreography work. Often, Frankenheimer incorporates people and objects into the extreme foreground so as to emphasize the overall depth of the image. Even something as simple as Lancaster's initial walk through the train yard ends up being one of the most memorable shots in the movie, because of the massive amount of activity involving people and machinery going on all around him in the single take. And the sound design is phenomenal, with the screeching, groaning, hissing and metallic sounds of the moving trains adding immensely to the sense of gritty, sooty realism. Long sections of the film are constructed wordlessly, with the dramatic visuals and intense sound telling the story -- the mark of a first-class filmmaker.

Ultimately, The Train moves toward a thrilling final sequence that culminates with the final standoff we know must come. ("A painting means as much to you as pearls to an ape!" Scofield berates Lancaster.) It's to the film's credit, however, that it does not present the scene as a simplistic western-type showdown. The variation used works ever better, because it feels of a piece with the sense of loss permeating the German side of the things that has been established from the first moment of the movie.

Twilight Time's Blu-ray is beautiful. The Train surely hasn't looked or sounded this great since its initial theatrical release. On a new audio commentary track, film historians Nick Redman, Julie Kirgo and Paul Seydor offer good insights into the film, though a single commentary track with so many people is inherently a bit unwieldy, as participants tend to cut each other off or jump around erratically with their points. Kirgo also supplies superb liner notes with all sorts of interesting production information and analysis.

Otherwise, the Blu-ray retains the extra materials first seen on MGM's 1999 DVD release: an isolated score track, and another audio commentary track with director John Frankenheimer, who died in 2002. His comments are sporadic but fascinating, as he talks about the challenges of the production, his use of lighting and depth of field, and how he approaches a film in terms of the emotional stakes for an audience. Of Michel Simon, the famous French actor who plays to perfection the role of the ill-fated train engineer Papa Boule, Frankenheimer says, "That face! I just couldn't take the camera off him." He also talks of introducing the paintings as he would a human character in the opening sequence, which incidentally was the only one to be shot on a soundstage.

The Train, which Frankenheimer took over from director Arthur Penn after Penn and Lancaster had a falling out, turned Frankenheimer's life around; he spent a year on location in Normandy, then returned four years later to live there for seven years. In the meantime, he turned out a picture that impresses for its balance of large-scale drama and intimate cat-and-mouse conflict between vividly real characters. A great film.

By Jeremy Arnold

The Train on Blu-ray

Is art worth fighting for? Dying for? These are questions posed in The Train (1964), a thrilling WWII action picture, both to the characters in the story and to us, the audience. When the art in question is a treasure trove of French impressionist art ("the heritage of France"), at risk of being hauled out of the country by Nazis to an uncertain fate, the questions become all the more difficult to answer. How refreshing it is for a movie filled with eye-popping, visceral, kinetic action to also center around such a thoughtful dilemma. The Train is not only gripping but timeless, because the issues at its core are timeless. It's also timeless in the way director John Frankenheimer, working from an Oscar-nominated script by Franklin Coen and Frank Davis (along with three uncredited writers), crafts an efficient, no-nonsense style that grabs audience attention right off the bat. Nazi Colonel Von Waldheim (Paul Scofield) quietly enters a building to look admiringly at scores of great impressionist paintings hanging on the walls. "Degenerate art," he tells a French curator. "I should detest it." But it's clear he doesn't, even as he then oversees the crating up of all this art in preparation for shipment to Germany. These are the last days of the German occupation of France. The Allies are closing in fast, and Waldheim wants to spirit the art away to Germany on a special train. The curator, however, informs the local French resistance of the scheme, and the French train-yard chief, Labiche (Burt Lancaster), is asked to prevent the train from leaving, or to at least to delay it long enough until the Allies to arrive in a few days' time. And so begins a cat and mouse game between Waldheim and Labiche, who at first is dead-set against risking any lives for the art. Eventually, however, Labiche becomes as determined to keep the train in France as Waldheim is obsessed with getting it out. Labiche and his men concoct clever, elaborate schemes to delay and reroute the train under the constant noses of brutal Nazis. Scofield is positively brilliant as Waldheim, whose love for the art makes him at best a complex Nazi, and Lancaster, at age 50, delivers one of his most physical performances -- running, jumping, climbing trains, scrambling over walls, and sliding down steep hills. And for the last section of the film he does all that with a limp, caused by a real mishap he had while golfing on a day off. Frankenheimer later called Burt Lancaster "the strongest man physically I've ever known. He was one of the best stuntmen who ever lived. I don't think anybody's ever moved as well on the screen." Frankenheimer shoots many of Lancaster's stunts in long, complex takes, often having his star end the shot in close-up, as if to impress us (successfully) that it was in fact Lancaster doing his own stunt work. The long takes also allow the audience to feel the visceral reality of the action. In this film, the trains are real, the locations are real, and the explosions are real: full-scale, with no effects work. This creates genuine impact, and is all the more impressive today, fifty years on, because very few movies with such large-scale action are ever still made in this way. The Train impresses in other ways, too. Almost every shot in the film employs razor-sharp deep-focus photography, resulting in one of the most beautiful black-and-white features of the era. (This is said to be the last great action movie done in black and white.) Frankenheimer's handling of crowd scenes is remarkable, with wide shots crammed with action and extras deep in the frame. Here again, the long takes reveal an unbelievable amount of complicated choreography work. Often, Frankenheimer incorporates people and objects into the extreme foreground so as to emphasize the overall depth of the image. Even something as simple as Lancaster's initial walk through the train yard ends up being one of the most memorable shots in the movie, because of the massive amount of activity involving people and machinery going on all around him in the single take. And the sound design is phenomenal, with the screeching, groaning, hissing and metallic sounds of the moving trains adding immensely to the sense of gritty, sooty realism. Long sections of the film are constructed wordlessly, with the dramatic visuals and intense sound telling the story -- the mark of a first-class filmmaker. Ultimately, The Train moves toward a thrilling final sequence that culminates with the final standoff we know must come. ("A painting means as much to you as pearls to an ape!" Scofield berates Lancaster.) It's to the film's credit, however, that it does not present the scene as a simplistic western-type showdown. The variation used works ever better, because it feels of a piece with the sense of loss permeating the German side of the things that has been established from the first moment of the movie. Twilight Time's Blu-ray is beautiful. The Train surely hasn't looked or sounded this great since its initial theatrical release. On a new audio commentary track, film historians Nick Redman, Julie Kirgo and Paul Seydor offer good insights into the film, though a single commentary track with so many people is inherently a bit unwieldy, as participants tend to cut each other off or jump around erratically with their points. Kirgo also supplies superb liner notes with all sorts of interesting production information and analysis. Otherwise, the Blu-ray retains the extra materials first seen on MGM's 1999 DVD release: an isolated score track, and another audio commentary track with director John Frankenheimer, who died in 2002. His comments are sporadic but fascinating, as he talks about the challenges of the production, his use of lighting and depth of field, and how he approaches a film in terms of the emotional stakes for an audience. Of Michel Simon, the famous French actor who plays to perfection the role of the ill-fated train engineer Papa Boule, Frankenheimer says, "That face! I just couldn't take the camera off him." He also talks of introducing the paintings as he would a human character in the opening sequence, which incidentally was the only one to be shot on a soundstage. The Train, which Frankenheimer took over from director Arthur Penn after Penn and Lancaster had a falling out, turned Frankenheimer's life around; he spent a year on location in Normandy, then returned four years later to live there for seven years. In the meantime, he turned out a picture that impresses for its balance of large-scale drama and intimate cat-and-mouse conflict between vividly real characters. A great film. By Jeremy Arnold

Quotes

London agrees the art is important. Anything we can do to save it... but they leave it up to us.
- Resistance leader
Why not? What can they lose? This morning we had four men left in this group. Now we have three. One, two, three.
- Labiche
Bernard?
- Pesquet
We started with eighteen. Like your paintings, mademoiselle, we couldn't replace them. For certain things we take the risk, but I won't waste lives on paintings.
- Labiche
They wouldn't be wasted! Excuse me, I know that's a terrible thing to say. But those paintings are part of France. The Germans want to take them away. They've taken our land, our food, they live in our houses, and now they're trying to take our art. This beauty, this vision of life, born out of France, our special vision, our trust... we hold it in trust, don't you see, for everyone? This is our pride, what we create and hold for the world. There are worse things to risk your life for than that.
- Miss Villard
I'm sorry, mademoiselle, we can't help you.
- Labiche
Right after dawn, all switching tracks and trains in the area will be bombed. The art train is not to be destroyed. Orders are to mark it so that the planes will pass it up.
- Resistance leader
Mark it!
- Labiche
White paint, on the top of the first three cars. London has decided the paintings must not be damaged.
- Resistance leader
Paint it? For von Waldheim-- make him a present? To hell with London! We started this whole thing for one reason: to stop the train, because the Allies were going to be here! Well, where are they? Every day they've been due, and every day a man has been killed for thinking they were just over the next hill. I say to hell with them. Now they want us to paint the train? Let 'em blow it up!
- Labiche
Paul, it'd be too bad, if it got blown up... that is, if it could be saved. Papa Boule, Pesquet, the others... they wanted it saved.
- Didont
I asked for two cranes.
- Colonel von Waldheim
It took an order from staff headquarters to get this one. With von Runstedt falling back, the army has other uses for railway equipment.
- Major Herren
All von Runstedt can lose is men. This train is more valuable.
- Colonel von Waldheim
Labiche! Here's your prize, Labiche. Some of the greatest paintings in the world. Does it please you, Labiche? Give you a sense of excitement in just being near them? A painting means as much to you as a string of pearls to an ape. You won by sheer luck: you stopped me without knowing what you were doing, or why. You are nothing, Labiche -- a lump of flesh. The paintings are mine; they always will be; beauty belongs to the man who can appreciate it! They will always belong to me or to a man like me. Now, this minute, you couldn't tell me why you did what you did.
- Colonel von Waldheim
I knew of books being burned, other things... I was terrified that these would be lost.
- Miss Villard
A book is worth a few francs; we Germans can afford to destroy those. We all may not appreciate artistic merit, but cash value is another matter.
- Colonel von Waldheim
You won't convince me that you're cynical. I know what these paintings mean to you.
- Miss Villard
You are a perceptive woman.
- Colonel von Waldheim
We're removing the paintings. Pack them carefully.
- Colonel von Waldheim

Trivia

In the opening sequence, the parade of major artists' names stenciled on packing crates -- GAUGUIN, RENOIR, VAN GOGH, MANET, PICASSO, DEGAS, MIRO, CEZANNE, MATISSE, BRAQUE, SEURAT, UTRILLO -- is immediately followed by the director's credit for John Frankenheimer.

- Frankenheimer said of this film, "I wanted all the realism possible. There are no tricks in this film. When trains crash together, they are real trains. There is no substitute for that kind of reality."

The engine that crashes into a derailed engine was moving at nearly 60 mph. The crash was staged in the town of Acquigny, with extensive safety precautions and special insurance. Only one take was possible, and seven cameras were used.

The engine that we see from track level as it's derailed was moving faster than intended. Three of the five cameras filming the derailment were smashed.

The engines and tanks required for some scenes made so much noise that "action" and "cut" were signaled by codes on the engines' whistles.

Notes

Opened in Paris in September 1964 as Le train; running time: 140 min; in Italy in 1965 as Il treno. Penn, the original director, was replaced by Frankenheimer, who receives sole screen credit.

Miscellaneous Notes

Voted One of the Year's Ten Best Films by the 1965 National Board of Review.

Released in United States on Video June 24, 1992

Released in United States Spring March 17, 1965

Arthur Penn, the original director, was replaced by John Frankenheimer.

Director John Frankenheimer died July 6, 2002 of a stroke at the age of 72.

Released in United States Spring March 17, 1965

Released in United States on Video June 24, 1992