Thursday, November 19, 2009
Train Travel in Film
Below is a list of my favorite movies that feature train travel. Ironically, three of these movies feature Scottish actor, Sean Connery:
TRAIN TRAVEL IN FILM
1. "Murder on the Orient Express" (1974) - Sidney Lumet directed this stylish adaptation of Agatha Christie's 1934 novel about the murder of a mysterious American aboard the Orient Express. Albert Finney led an all-star cast as Hercule Poirot. Ingrid Bergman won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar as one of the suspects.
2. "Silver Streak" (1976) - Arthur Hiller directed this comedic mystery thriller about the murder of an art historian during a Los Angeles-to-Chicago train journey. The movie starred Gene Wilder, Jill Clayburgh, Richard Pryor, Patrick McGoohan and Ned Beatty. It marked the first pairing between Wilder and Pryor.
3. "The First Great Train Robbery" (1979) - Sean Connery, Lesley Anne-Down and Donald Sutherland are a trio of Victorian thieves determined to steal a cache of gold bound for the Crimea, from a train in 1855. This caper thriller was based upon Michael Crighton's novel, who also directed and wrote the screenplay.
4. "From Russia With Love" (1963) - Terence Young directed Sean Connery in the latter's second appearance as James Bond in this adaptation of Ian Fleming's thriller about the British spy's mission to retrieve a Soviet code detector from Istanbul. The second half of the film is set aboard the Orient Express. Daniela Bianchi, Lotte Lenya, Pedro Armendáriz and Robert Shaw co-starred.
5. "Narrow Margin" (1990) - Gene Hackman portrayed a Los Angeles District Attorney who accompanies an unwilling witness to a crime from Canada to Los Angeles via train. Anne Archer portrayed the witness. James B. Sikking co-starred and Peter Hyams directed.
6. "The Twentieth Century" (1934) - John Barrymore and Carole Lombard starred in this classic screwball comedy about a Broadway producer who boards the famous Twentieth Century train in order to convince his former protegee and lover to star in his next play. Howard Hawks directed this adaptation of Charles MacArthur and Ben Hecht's play.
7. "The Lady Vanishes" (1938) - Alfred Hitchcock directed this thriller about a rich, English playgirl who realizes that an elderly lady has disappeared from a train traveling through central Europe. Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas and Dame May Whitty starred.
8. "The Darjeeling Limited" (2007) - Wes Anderson directed and co-wrote this comedy-drama about three American brothers who travel by rail through India for a reunion with their mother, following their father's death. Owen Wilson, Adrian Brody, and Jason Schwartzman star.
9. "The Mystery of the Blue Train" (2005) - David Suchet portrays Hercule Poirot in this second television version of Agatha Christie's 1928 novel about the murder of an American heiress aboard the Blue Train from London to Nice. Georgina Rylance, Elliot Gould and Nicholas Farrell co-starred.
10. "Shanghai Express" (1932) - Josef von Sternberg directed Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook and Anna May Wong in this stylish melodrama about passengers aboard a train traveling through war-torn China in the early 1930s. The movie won a Best Cinematography Oscar for Lee Garmes.