Review: The Train

Blu-ray: The Train (1964)

THE_TRAIN_2D_BD_1Just as WW2 is about to end, Von Waldheim; (Paul Scofield) a Nazi commander in charge of the Jeu de Paume museum in Paris, begins to stockpile as much art as he can on a train bound for Germany before the allies take Paris back. Can Labiche (Burt Lancaster) and fellow resisters stop him?

Is art more important than human life? Possibly, according to this fantastic, imaginative, action packed story from John Frankenheimer.

Burt was on a roll when he made this film and plays against type as the stoic Rail manager/resistance fighter and gives the film a real sense of urgency and seriousness. Filmed in France and using a lot of French actors, this has an almost documentary feel to it. Of course the acting is superb, Lancaster, and the wonderful Scofield give it their all, along with the beautiful Jeanne Moreau.

Those who tend not to watch a film because it’s black and white are missing out on one of the best action films I’ve seen. I was quite amazed at how tense and gripping the very realistic scenes were. I’d say this film was long overdue a remake (I can imagine Tarrantino doing a good job), However, in a way it’s already been remade in the form of ‘The Monument’s Men’ which is dire compared to The Train.

The sort of film your dad would watch on a rainy Sunday afternoon, one that I hope gets rediscovered on this great Arrow release.



  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the film
  • Uncompressed 1.0 mono PCM audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Audio commentary by director John Frankenheimer
  • Optional isolated score by Maurice Jarre
  • Burt Lancaster in the Sixties – a newly-filmed interview with Lancaster’s biographer Kate Buford, tracing the actor’s career throughout the decade (I’ve been a big fan of Burt’s since I was a kid (thanks Dad) mainly because of Bird Man of Alcatraz. Growing up I discovered The Swimmer and Elmer Gantry and of course The Leopard, and loved him. So major Kudos to Lancaster’s Biographer Kate Buford, who gives an extremely heart warming, knowledgable and most importantly VERY enjoybale account to lancaster’s life and career in the 60’s. I would have been quite happy to watch her talk about his whole career. I’ve just ordered her Biography of Burt off Amazon)
  • French television news report on the making of The Train, containing interviews with the locals of Acquigny
  • Archive interview with Michel Simon
  • Footage of The Train’s gala screening in Marseilles
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Vladimir Zimakov
  • Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Sheldon Hall, illustrated with original stills and artwork

Review by Tina (co-host of 60 Minutes With) from a disc kindly supplied by Arrow Films.