this cinema He has mentioned railroad travel countless times since January 1896.When the Lumières showed their movie ‘The arrival of a train at La Ciotat station’ in front of an astonished audience. And it makes sense because after all, both the occupants of a car and the audience of a movie are both sitting still and in motion, but also traveling, literally or figuratively. On the occasion of this Friday premiere ‘Fast train’, ‘actioner’ starring Promising to be a summer blockbuster, Brad Pitt, we examine some of the fictions that bring out more clearly just how good this romantic transportation vehicle looks on screen.
‘La General’s chauffeur’ (1926)
Buster Keaton was a pioneer in demonstrating his physical integrity for his art, and in no other film has he done so with as much dedication as in this one. In the guise of a train driver who has to save his locomotive and the woman he loves from the enemy, he chases bad guys first on foot, on a bicycle, and with another locomotive; and then, after a train change, the chase continues in the opposite direction. The result is one of the best train movies, one of the best action movies, and one of the best silent movies. One of the best, period. Available in the movie.
‘Alarm on the Express’ (1938)
Alfred Hitchcock knew better than anyone that a train journey separates us from our daily reality and therefore invites us to assume different identities. At least half a dozen of his films use railroads to create intrigue, suspense, and danger. For example, in ‘Alarm on the Express’, the search for an elderly woman who disappeared during a voyage on the Intercontinental Express is solved by the discovery of a spy network. And in ‘Aliens on the Train’ (1951), two strangers come to an agreement in a carriage: each kills a person the other wants to see dead. Available in the movie.
Also a great action movie, gripping espionage plot, and an intriguing reflection on how much is worth sacrificing for art, the film confronts a Nazi colonel trying to steal a shipment of illustrated artefacts from the railway line connecting France to Germany. a member of the Resistance trying to stop him. How? He does everything in his power to prevent the train from leaving the Gallic lands, or in other words, plays a leading role in a series of action and destruction that can still cause both admiration and surprise even today. Available in the movie.
‘Murder on the Orient Express’ (1974)
It contains all the essential components of both Agatha Christie’s novels and film adaptations: a murder, a unique and oppressive environment – the carriages of a train traveling between Istanbul and Calais – a closed circle of suspects full of motives and secrets. Baccall, Ingrid Bergman, Sean Connery, Jaqcqueline Bisset, and Anthony Perkins, among others, and a detective—narcissist and maniacal investigator Hercule Poirot—and of course eventually discover the culprit. The book on which it was based was made into a movie again in 2017 with much less success. Available in the movie.
‘Cassandra’s Bridge’ (1976)
This particularly bizarre representation of disaster cinema sees a group of passengers traveling on a luxury train who contract a deadly virus carried by terrorists. The film stars an all-star cast directed by Richard Harris and Sophia Loren, both of whom overreact as if there’s no tomorrow. Burt Lancaster plays a military man who wants to throw the train off a dilapidated bridge to the death of all its passengers because he thinks such a tragedy would give terrorists a bad reputation. It’s a perfect plan. Available in the movie.
‘Train from Hell’ (1985)
Based on Akira Kurosawa’s screenplay, it can be described as the railroad version of ‘Speed’ (1994); After all, it portrays two fugitives hiding on a speeding train in Alaska, but it spirals out of control as soon as its driver dies of a heart attack. It bears similarities to ‘Unstoppable’ (2010), the fast-paced story of a train full of toxic chemicals and two men who must try to stop it to avoid possible environmental destruction. Both films move wildly and then the energy they emanate is huge. Available on Film (‘Unstoppable’ on Disney+).
‘Journey to Darjeeling’ (2007)
Watching three American brothers cross India to reconnect with each other and find themselves, Wes Anderson encapsulates the essence of an entire country in the stunningly detailed interior of the train the trio boarded and which perfectly conveys the movie’s metaphor: for in this life we all travel on roads that lead us to death. Why don’t we stop wasting our energies carrying all the burdens that crush us and instead use it to empathize with our fellow travelers? Available on Disney+.
‘Source code’ (2011)
Something like the result of mixing the plots of the films Trapped in Time (1993), ’12 Monkeys’ (1995), ‘The Messenger of Fear’ (1962) and ‘Déjà Vu’ (2006) and framing the resulting story. The commuter train car whose corners and cracks hide pieces of a complex mystery: 8 minutes of time travel in a row, a bomb exploding, a villain who wants to destroy the world. In the center is a man who must face his own mortality; In the process, you will learn that every second of the journey counts and that we are smarter at each new stage of the journey than the one before. Available in Movistar Plus+.
‘Snow Piercer’ (2013)
After an environmental catastrophe that has left the planet frozen and uninhabitable, the last humans remain on a high-speed train that runs in nonstop circles from which no one can leave. The car is divided into classes: the rich have hairdressers, schools and nightclubs in the carriages in the front, while the poor crowd in the back. And when the poor decide to move forward to make a revolution, it is tempting to hope that they will not succeed. In a train journey like in a good movie, the best thing is not the destination, but the journey itself. Available on Prime Video.
‘Train to Busan’ (2016)
As he watches the class tensions build up in his colorful crew of people sharing high-speed transport with a horde of bloodthirsty zombies, he moves as fast as the helmet vehicle and never brakes. Meanwhile, it not only creates tension from the claustrophobia that the characters experience as they struggle to survive; it also makes incredibly creative use of the interior geography of cars and especially elements such as door locks, shatterproof windows and luggage racks. Available on Acontra+, Film and Prime Video.
Calvin Turley is an author at “Social Bites”. He is a trendsetter who writes about the latest fashion and entertainment news. With a keen eye for style and a deep understanding of the entertainment industry, Calvin provides engaging and informative articles that keep his readers up-to-date on the latest fashion trends and entertainment happenings.