'The Train' - High-Def Digest Review - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:36 AM
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Default 'The Train' - High-Def Digest Review

David Krauss has reviewed John Frankenheimer's 'The Train'. He says this Blu-ray features a solid, if somewhat troubled, video transfer, along with potent mono audio, and a couple of commentaries for fans. Worth a look.

Full review here:
http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/11588/thetrain.html
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Old 07-16-2014, 11:13 AM
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Nice review.

One question though: Does highdefdigest have some sort of deal with Twilight Time to review most of their releases? Seems like you guys are reviewing quite a bit of their stuff. I'm still waiting on reviews for The Black Stallion and Black Beauty from you guys.
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Old 07-16-2014, 12:39 PM
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We were never sent the Black Stallion or Black Beauty. We do get all the Twilight stuff. We review what we get first.
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Attebery View Post
We were never sent the Black Stallion or Black Beauty. We do get all the Twilight stuff. We review what we get first.
Ohhhh okay. Thanks for answering that for me. I thought for sure the major studios would be sending you catalog titles like those. Ah well.
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:54 PM
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One of my favorite action-adventure/train movies ever, and I enjoyed the review. I think the score for the movie is too low (I'd go 4.5 myself), but hey...that's just my opinion! I can watch The Train anytime, and it impresses me far more in it's handling of action (and drama in an "action" movie) than a dozen blockbusters made in the last year.

One issue with the review though...since the writer seemed to enjoy the film less than most he actually misleads the reader with a quote taken completely out of context. In an effort to convince us that Frankenheimer and Lancaster were disappointed with the film later in life, he quotes Frankenheimer as saying, "If Burt Lancaster and I had that film to do over again, we would both do it differently." What they would have done differently is use French actors to dub the dialogue of the French characters. He wasn't talking about his feelings of the film as a whole, this wasn't "quite an admission" or anything of the sort. There are plenty of instances where Frankenheimer proudly shared fond memories of The Train late in his life, he clearly thought well of it. Also, the bit about Lancaster "refusing to adopt a French accent" is addressed here too, apparently he wished he had.

Here is the quote in context:

"One thing that I deeply regret now is that we did not use French-speaking actors when we dubbed the French into English. The old man, who was a leader of sorts, dubbed himself and he sounded very authentic. Jeanne Moreau spoke her own English too. If Burt Lancaster and I had that film to do over again, we would both do it differently. As I said, I came into the film after it started shooting, but once Burt became involved he began to live the film so intently that he said to me, 'My God, if only we had started this together, I would have played it with a French accent. Then we wouldn't have to dub the other actors into that hoarse American-English, and the entire film would have been more convincing.' And it's true. We all make mistakes. Ideally it should have been spoken in French with English subtitles, but you cannot do this with an expensive film made for the mass market. But I do think we caught the French flavor and got the period right. Someone criticized me for the suit Burt wears at the beginning of the film. They said it was too modern. In fact, it was a 1941 suit that we had found to fit him."

Anyway, none of this changes the fact that the reviewer wishes he had Arthur Penn's version. I can understand that, and I would have liked to see that version too. However, I love Frankenheimer's version as is (aside from the scene where they have to paint three entire train cars as a signal to the Air Force...a scene spoken about in the commentary as being a bit ludicrous) and I'm pretty sure Frankenheimer and Lancaster were happy about it too overall.
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Old 07-16-2014, 05:37 PM
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Ohhhh okay. Thanks for answering that for me. I thought for sure the major studios would be sending you catalog titles like those. Ah well.
Some do. Some don't. It's hard to predict sometimes.
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Old 07-16-2014, 06:40 PM
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Glad to see a real classic like this released on BD. I would love to see The Hill get a release someday as well. I've been holding off on buying the DVD of The Hill because it's too expensive, but I would pay the current price for a BD.

I always think of The Hill when I watch The Train, because these are two WWII movies with substance, as opposed to the star studded, less meaningful, popular titles like The Dirty Dozen and The Longest Day.
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Old 07-16-2014, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Scrovegni1305 View Post
One of my favorite action-adventure/train movies ever, and I enjoyed the review. I think the score for the movie is too low (I'd go 4.5 myself), but hey...that's just my opinion! I can watch The Train anytime, and it impresses me far more in it's handling of action (and drama in an "action" movie) than a dozen blockbusters made in the last year.

One issue with the review though...since the writer seemed to enjoy the film less than most he actually misleads the reader with a quote taken completely out of context. In an effort to convince us that Frankenheimer and Lancaster were disappointed with the film later in life, he quotes Frankenheimer as saying, "If Burt Lancaster and I had that film to do over again, we would both do it differently." What they would have done differently is use French actors to dub the dialogue of the French characters. He wasn't talking about his feelings of the film as a whole, this wasn't "quite an admission" or anything of the sort. There are plenty of instances where Frankenheimer proudly shared fond memories of The Train late in his life, he clearly thought well of it. Also, the bit about Lancaster "refusing to adopt a French accent" is addressed here too, apparently he wished he had.

Here is the quote in context:

"One thing that I deeply regret now is that we did not use French-speaking actors when we dubbed the French into English. The old man, who was a leader of sorts, dubbed himself and he sounded very authentic. Jeanne Moreau spoke her own English too. If Burt Lancaster and I had that film to do over again, we would both do it differently. As I said, I came into the film after it started shooting, but once Burt became involved he began to live the film so intently that he said to me, 'My God, if only we had started this together, I would have played it with a French accent. Then we wouldn't have to dub the other actors into that hoarse American-English, and the entire film would have been more convincing.' And it's true. We all make mistakes. Ideally it should have been spoken in French with English subtitles, but you cannot do this with an expensive film made for the mass market. But I do think we caught the French flavor and got the period right. Someone criticized me for the suit Burt wears at the beginning of the film. They said it was too modern. In fact, it was a 1941 suit that we had found to fit him."

Anyway, none of this changes the fact that the reviewer wishes he had Arthur Penn's version. I can understand that, and I would have liked to see that version too. However, I love Frankenheimer's version as is (aside from the scene where they have to paint three entire train cars as a signal to the Air Force...a scene spoken about in the commentary as being a bit ludicrous) and I'm pretty sure Frankenheimer and Lancaster were happy about it too overall.
Excellent post.

It's one of my favorite action movies of any era. I'm glad Burt Lancaster changed the direction of the film to be more action-oriented, as those are the scenes most lending toward high replay value and they so well done and authentic. Probably my favorite TT release as well.
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:34 AM
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Great movie. Again, fuck Twilight Time.
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:45 AM
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I had a rare laser disc of this movie that I bought new way back when laser disc was the way to go.. A favorite film of mine. When the time came...I sold it for 250.00, not bad.
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