"Cinema Verite"...is a Phrase used when a Dramatic Film is Shot so Real as to be "Documentary Like" in Tone and Appearance. It's Drama Mimicking Real Life.
There is "Verisimilitude"...The quality of appearing to be true or real.
Both can be Applied to this John Frankenheimer Movie, Starring Burt Lancaster. "Train Magazine" Lists it as the #1 Movie about "Trains.
It is a Universally Praised, if Relatively Unknown, WWII Film that is a Wide Open, but Curiously Confined Thriller. The Focus hardly ever Leaves the Train Tracks whether the Bulky, Black, Behemoth is in Motion or Docked and Pampered Upon.
There's more Suspense than Action but Both are Utilized in this "Fictional" Tale based on True Events. The Nazi's Pillaging of France's Foremost Frames of Art by France's Foremost Artists. The Occupiers are Determined to take the "Decadent" Pictures Home Despite Their Disdain.
It seems the Nazi in Charge has a Secret Lust for the Work and is not about to let the "Apes" Possess what They Cannot Appreciate.
Lancaster, on the other hand, Cares Not about the Paintings and is Motivated by the Murderers of His Fellow Yard Workers and Now will Stop at Nothing to Thwart the Germans from accomplishing Their Thievery.
Precious and Valuable "Art" vs Precious Human Lives is a Philosophical Conundrum and a Muse throughout this Gripping and Riveting Film. However it is the "Train" that becomes the "Star" of the Movie.
Frankenheimer Stages Real Locomotive Train Wrecks and Aerial Bombings and the Results are Nothing Short of Spectacular. The Film is Relentless the way it Photographs the Oily and Gritty Machine and French Resistance Workers Assigned to Operate and Maintain the Mechanics of the Proud and Determined "Iron Horse".
The Trains Wheezes, Squeals, and Chugs that says as much in the Movie as its Human Counterparts. It all becomes a Unique and Uncanny War Film and there is Nothing quite Like it.
Action / Thriller / War
Action / Thriller / War
As the Allied forces approach Paris in August 1944, German Colonel Von Waldheim is desperate to take all of France's greatest paintings to Germany. He manages to secure a train to transport the valuable art works even as the chaos of retreat descends upon them. The French resistance however wants to stop them from stealing their national treasures but have received orders from London that they are not to be destroyed. The station master, Labiche, is tasked with scheduling the train and making it all happen smoothly but he is also part of a dwindling group of resistance fighters tasked with preventing the theft. He and others stage an elaborate ruse to keep the train from ever leaving French territory.
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