Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
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.
When Colonel Joseph Ryan (Frank Sinatra) is captured during World War II, he becomes the highest ranking officer in an Italian POW camp, where he struggles to win the respect of the mostly British soldiers in the encampment, but eventually plays an integral role in their escape.
Part Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), part The Great Escape (1963), this works because of Sinatra's immense charm. It's a fun escape film, but also asks serious questions about the nature of leadership.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Injecting the heroic adventurism of the wartime action thriller with a moral complexity and gritty realism, this is genre filmmaking of the utmost degree, unparalleled artistry throughout and an earnest humanity that drives the emotional connection alongside the action and thriller elements.
Robson balances the varied tonal shifts with ease, building a complex mix of embattled camaraderie and strained conciliatory stasis among the POWs and their Italian captors that lends the film a persistent internal tension won't in the group, not to mention the ratcheting tension that Robson piles on in slowly mounting heaps of foreboding throughout the increasingly dire and daring incursions the group faces.
Alongside the film's lightly comedic, caper tone, Robson and writers Mayes and London display…
Not bad. There's a really tense scene where the heroes are dressed in Nazi uniforms trying to get through a train station and the Gestapo comes aboard the train. One of the Gestapo starts speaking to Frank Sinatra and we realize it's because he's wearing an American brand watch. It's a great scene that was duplicated in Inglourious Basterds and in Django Unchained. I have a fondness for movies with train sequences in it (I can thank the climax to Back to the Future Part III for that) and this one is like a lower brow version of Frankenheimer's The Train. It's actually just a mash up of that film and Lean's Bridge Over the River Kwai. Obviously not as good as either of those. I maintain that Nazis are the best screen villains because it's always so satisfying to watch them die by the dozens.
Mostly, I'm just disappointed that the movie didn't deliver on its promise of a train-full of Nazi's hurtling off a cliff. Boo.
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.
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