Dec 302020

The Train is an all-around well made war-thriller from director John Frankenheimer and features great performances from Burt Lancaster and Paul Scofield.



The Train

Genre(s): Suspense/Thriller, War
Kino Lorber | NR – 133 min. – $29.95 | January 5, 2021

Date Published: 12/30/2020 | Author: The Movieman

Director: John Frankenheimer
Writer(s): Franklin Coen and Frank Davis (story) (screenplay)
Cast: Burt Lancaster, Paul Scofield, Jeanne Moreau, Michel Simon, Suzanne Flon, Richard Munch

Features: Commentaries, Theatrical Trailer
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.66
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 46.65 GB
Total Bitrate: 43.90 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Kino Lorber provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 4½/5

Plot Synopsis: Paris, August 1944… with the Allied army closing in on German commander and art fanatic Colonel Franz Woldheim (PAUL SCOFIELD), he decides to steak a vast collection of rare French paintings and loads them onto a train bound for Berlin. But when a beloved French patriot is murdered while trying to sabotage Von Woldheim’s scheme, Labiche (BURT LANCASTER), a stalwart member of the Resistance, vows to stop the train at any cost. Calling upon his vast arsenal of skills, Labiche unleashes a torrent of devastation and destruction—loosened rails, shattered tracks and head-on collisions—in an impassioned quest for justice, retribution and revenge.

Quick Hit Review: The Train is a highly engaging, suspense-filled war-drama and has a poignancy to it, going beyond just saving some precious art, but the symbolism they hold, in the case of this film, for the war-torn country of France. The film was directed by the great John Frankenheimer and features great performances all around, but especially Burt Lancaster and Paul Scofield as a Nazi colonel and his obsession with the paintings, basically wanting them all to himself, appreciating them beyond humanity, even the soldiers within the German army, let alone innocent civilians.

I had never seen this movie before, heard of it in passing over time, and found it all around entertaining, its two-hour running time never feeling the length nor rushed, just perfectly paced courtesy of editor David Bretherton (who also worked on the 1985 comedy classic, Clue). In regards to Frankenheimer, who apparently replaced Arthur Penn after only one day of shooting, at the behest of lead actor, Lancaster.

Behind-the-scenes intrigue aside, this is a wonderfully well-crafted war-thriller, deserving to be among the best in the genre. Sure, there are plenty of train crashes and derailments, but those only accentuate the quieter thrilling scenes and sequences, culminating with a great finale and a thoughtful final shot; a bit on-the-nose but nevertheless effective.



This comes with a matted slip cover and all of the features, plus one, was ported over from the Twilight Time release, including an essay booklet by Julie Kirgo.

Audio Commentaries:

  • Director John Frankenheimer
  • Filmmaker/Historian Steve Mitchell and Author Steven Joy Rubin

Both of these tracks offer insights from up close in the case of Frankenheimer discussing the film’s background and providing some behind-the-scenes stories and breaking down several key scenes. The second takes a historical perspective on Frankenheimer’s career and delving more on the film’s impact in the genre.

Also included is Trailers from Hell (5:17) with Brian Trenchard-Smith featurette and the Theatrical Trailer (4:35). There are also trailers for Run Silent, Run Deep and Judgment at Nuremberg.


VIDEO – 4¼/5

The Train comes to Blu-ray through Kino Lorber Studio Classics and looks to be a similar if not exact 1080p high-definition transfer that Twilight Time released in 2014 and again in 2016, at least from my eye in doing a screen capture comparison. In any case, the black and white picture looks quite good, and while there is some white specs here and there, detail is sharp and very nicely defined throughout and black levels are stark without appearing to be crushed.

AUDIO – 4/5

The disc comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo track which not entirely superb but still more than respectable for the age of the film. Dialogue comes across well enough and there is some minor depth for the train crashes and derailments but otherwise it is a clean sounding lossless track, no major instances of pops, hisses or other flaws.



The Train is an all-around well made war-thriller from director John Frankenheimer and features great performances from Burt Lancaster and Paul Scofield. This special edition Blu-ray release from Kino Lorber ports over all of the bonus material from the Twilight Time releases as well as the video transfer.





Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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