Search This Blog

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Train (1964)

In 1944 as the Allied forces approach Paris, a Nazi Colonel (Paul Scofield) orders all the art treasures of a museum to be packed and loaded onto a train bound for Germany. The museum's curator (Suzanne Flon, MOULIN ROUGE) asks the French Resistance for help in stalling the train until the Allied forces arrive. John Frankenheimer's WWII action-adventure film is a splendid thriller. It may be overlong (did we really need the dalliance with Jeanne Moreau?) but Frankenheimer manages to get his message across, is art worth the cost of the lives it took to save it, without hitting us over the head with it. Burt Lancaster as the railway inspector who reluctantly becomes part of the heroics is so good that you can forgive the fact that he's hopelessly American, made even more obvious when most of the cast (Moreau, Flon, Michel Simon, Albert Remy, Jacques Marin) are really French. The intelligent and realistic Oscar nominated screenplay by Franklin Coen and Frank Davis is based on the non-fiction book LE FRONT DE L'ART by Rose Valland, itself based on an actual incident. The winning B&W cinematography is courtesy of Jean Tournier and Walter Wottitz and the blame for the obtrusive score goes to Maurice Jarre. With Wolfgang Preiss and Charles Millot.

No comments:

Post a Comment