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Von Ryan's Express
Von Ryan's Express stars Frank Sinatra as a POW colonel who leads a daring escape from Nazi Germany by taking over a freight train, but he has to win over the British soldiers he finds himself commanding.
You'll get your Iron Cross now, "Von" Ryan!
-Major Eric Fincham
20th Century Fox was still feeling the financial blow and critical bashing of Cleopatra so they went to an old reliable Hollywood standby; the World War II Adventure Film. They didn't want simply a hit, but wanted to prove they could still make big successful films both financially and critically. David Westheimer's 1964 novel proved to be the perfect source material for what they were looking for.
Directed by Mark Bobson, the story has some great ambiguity to it. Frank Sinatra plays Col. Joseph L. Ryan, on all American hero. At the beginning of the film you're under the impression that the American Hero is going to come to…
There are certain actors that always suited uniforms. The likes of James Stewart or Lee Marvin always had that extra masculine appeal from military garb with Marvin finding a career doing so after actually being in the marines.Old blue eyes himself Frank Sinatra might not have been a war hero like Stewart and Marvin. but he sure looked good in the uniform. From Here To Eternity, On The Town, even the Manchurian Candidate gave our Frank that extra bit of swagger and here in Mark Robson's 1965 war film he rules the roost as a US pilot shot down over Italy.
It's 1943 and the Yanks have landed in Sicily. For Colonel Joseph Ryan however his war looks over as…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
When I was growing up watching a war based action film on a Sunday afternoon with my Dad was a pretty common occurrence. We watched all the big favourites such as Ice Station Zebra and Where Eagles Dare tons of times, and I thought I’d seen all the great entries in this genre. That was until I watched Von Ryan’s Express for the first time, having only heard it mentioned a few times in passing previously. How it’s taken me this long to see it I truly have no idea.
The first third of the film is more like a prison camp drama with American Colonel Joseph Ryan (Frank Sinatra) finding himself in charge of a mostly British camp of…
"You'll get your Iron Cross now, Von Ryan!"
There is a whole batch of war films that have become a staple diet of Saturday and Sunday tea-time TV viewing over here in the UK over the last couple of decades. Where Eagles Dare, The Dirty Dozen, The Great Escape, Kelly's Heroes, The Guns Of Navarone - reliable late afternoon viewing that you can pass away over 2 or 3 hours in front of without really extending yourself too much.
They're perfect for that slot because they strike the perfect balance between high quality action and adventure and stirring wartime heroism where we can cheer our boys and boo the Nazis. None of this rabble rousing nonsense regarding pacifism or anything…
Fly me to the train
Let me run forever more
He'll kill some Nazis
And burn our clothes right on the floor
I sure hope those Messerschmitts
Don't kill all of our corps
Let's haul ass to Switzerland
And not die in this war
In other words, please get throu-
I have just received a cease and desist court order from the estate of one Francis Albert Sinatra to discontinue all future parody songs as they are a terrible and unfunny idea. - Mgmt
This Oscar nominated (Best Special Effects 1966) war movie is a combination of 'The Great Escape' and 'The Train' and stars Frank Sinatra and Trevor Howard.
Colonel Joseph L. Ryan (Frank Sinatra) is a US pilot, he is captured by Italian troops and taken to a prisoner-of-war camp populated mainly by British prisoners (9th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers). The British commanding officer having recently died, this makes him the ranking officer in charge.
The film focuses on the clash of cultures between Major Eric Fincham (Trevor Howard) who is the ranking British officer and Ryan. While the Allied prisoners who, after Italy's armistice with the Allies in September 1943, attempt a daring mass escape by hijacking a freight train and fleeing through German occupied Italy to Switzerland.
Full of action and suspense this is a worthwhile entry into the genre. Whilst not up there with the best, it is not that far behind and well worth a viewing.
A fun if unbelievable war film. The cast is good but character-ness is eschewed in favor of action.
A better than average WWII film with Frank Sinatra and a sweet train. The power struggle between nations and military rank enhances the otherwise typical action segments and archetypal characters.
Some unusual music choices and tonal issues keeps this from being a classic but over all makes for a good genre watch. One shot in particular of a train going through a tunnel towards the end represents most of my love towards this film.
A good old fun, well made, and entertaining film for its time. No, it doesn't come close to the emotion impact some great war films left, but for 1965 I was surprised at how much i enjoyed this. It was thrilling, cool, and the action and special effects surprised me at how well done some of them were. I recommend this 60's classic.
I'm usually the very last person to complain about rear projection/process shots, but with all the location shooting in this movie they were a distraction.
An American Colonel leads a band of Allied POWs in a daring escape from a train bound for Germany. Frenetically paced and entertaining - but historically fictitious WWII film - loaded with one cliffhanger scene after another. The film is all about these action sequences, including the POWs commandeering a German Army train and masquerading in German uniforms to get past checkpoints, an attack on the railway control tower in Milan, and the climactic battle sequence in the Italian Alps with their train on a railway bridge while the prisoners attempt to clear the tracks while fighting off a strafing Luftwaffe aircraft and their German pursuers. Great job by cinematographer William H. Daniels.
Frank Sinatra is convincing as the American…
The mid 60s were a difficult time in the history of big movie studios. War epics were on their way out and the film school generation were scaling the walls of the dream factories.
VRE is a respectable motion picture, however it is still steeped in that pre-Vietnam mentality of "good guys and bad guys". In this film there is a clear enemy and it is fascism.
Frank Sinatra gives a solid performance as the battle-weary "Steve McQueen-esque" American GI. Trevor Howard is the by-the-book Brit who has to break his own rules in order survive the journey from the Italian POW camp to Switzerland.
(Hollywood films in 1965 had a strange fascination with escaping from Nazis and fleeing to…
An American flyer (Sinatra) ends up the ranking officer in an Italian POW camp largely comprising British prisoners, and his pragmatic approach to command puts him at odds with the ranking Brit (Howard). When his style further alienates him from most of the other 600 prisoners, he earns the epithet “Von” Ryan. After a number of showdowns and setbacks that establish the characters, the film picks up speed, carried by a daring plot to escape to Switzerland through the Alps on a captured train. Arguably Sinatra’s best foray into the war pic genre (next to From Here to Eternity, which technically takes place before the war until its final scenes).
Wow--really really really awesome movie; love Frank Sinatra; love this movie
Great scenes when chaplain impersonates Nazi officer
Well done war scenes
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