Thursday, September 10, 2015

Thursday Movie Picks-Train Movies


Yes another week has passed by and it is time again to visit Wandering Through The Shelves and see what other people have picked for their 3 films. The theme this week is train movies.

Now I have already talked about one of my favourite films, "Strangers on a Train" so I will not include this one here. There are some other films I have not seen like "The General" starring Buster Keaton who also directed it and is considered one of the best films ever done. I could have done all Hitchcock since he had a thing for trains especially when they go into tunnels (North by Northwest)-I don't think he was getting any. Anyhoo here are my 3 picks.

1. The Lady Vanishes-1938



This time the Hitchcock heroine is a brunette, not a blond, and she becomes friendly with a kindly old lady on a train. The old lady disappears and nobody believes the young lass and thinks she has gone a bit batty. The train becomes stuck due to an avalanche which means the plot thickens! You meet all sorts of characters including 2 men who love cricket and sleep in the same bed-remember this is the 30's! Michael Redgrave (father to Vanessa and Lynn Redgrave, Granddad to Natasha Richardson), plays the love interest. It is quirky, funny and still very much a Hitchcock film. Highly recommended.

2. Von Ryan's Express-1965


Yup, a war film which I love and I love Westerns to boot! Believe it or not I really enjoyed this film even though it stars Frank Sinatra. Sinatra plays one of the few Americans in a POW camp which mainly hold British soldiers with the leader played by the under-rated Trevor Howard. They find a means of escape even though the British are wary of Ryan and where he stands. They end up on a train trying to head for Switzerland with the German's right behind them. It is action at its finest and a very enjoyable film.

3. Murder on the Orient Express-1974


I just love this film! Can I say...I love this film!! It is star-studded with the likes of Sean Connery, Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall and Ingrid Bergman. It take place on the most famous of trains which also gets stuck in snow and murder is afoot! Agatha Christie (I love her books) weaved in the true story of the Lindbergh Baby kidnapping case with a cast of characters each unique. I have to say Lauren Bacall, to me, deserved the Oscar over Ingrid Bergman in this film. You just have to see this gem!

So there are my 3. Which ones have you seen? Which train movie, that I don't list here,  do you like? Love to know.

52 comments:

  1. I think I've only seen the last one.
    Other train movies that come to mind are the Great Train Robbery, Runaway Train, and Snowpiercer.

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    1. I have seen the first 2 you mention but quite a while ago and I have to see Snowpiercer still

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  2. I think I saw von Ryans express, not the other two. I think Sinatra is a brilliant actor. Did you see the Man with the Golden Arm?

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    1. Yes I have seen that film and he is excellent in that role as well

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  3. Hi, dear Birgit! I have seen all three of your movie picks but it has been years since I saw #2 and #3. I watched Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes in 2007, the year that I suddenly became inspired to view hundreds of movies made before 1960. Another movie I saw that year was the Film Noir drama The Narrow Margin (1952) starring Charles McGraw, Marie Windsor and Jacqueline White. I recommend it.

    If you're like me and have eclectic taste, then I also urge you to watch the early Jamie Lee Curtis "vehicle" Terror Train (1980), one of those killer on the loose, "Ten Little Indians" body count slasher movies. One by one, college kids on a party train are butchered by an unknown assailant. It's a hoot.

    Happy Thursday, dear friend BB!

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    1. I have not seen The Narrow Margin but it definitely appeals to me. Terror Train sounds like a campy flick with lots of blood and I bet the dumb bullying cheerleader gets it first

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  4. I'm so bad at the classics. I haven't seen any of these.

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    1. Oh Oh-time to make room for some classics:)

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  5. The last one I've seen a long time ago. Silver Streak was also a fun one that I can recall. Under Siege 2? Die hard on a train lol

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    1. Oh I love Silver Streak and have not seen that in years-love the way they tried to make Gene Wilder black.

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  6. Man! I've not seen any of these. This week's topic is showing me how much I'm lacking in the Hitchcock area. Sorry, just made myself giggle witht that one. On the other hand, you made me laugh...hard...hehe...with "I don't think he was getting any." Brilliant.

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    1. Yes Hitchcock had a thing for trains, blondes and birds

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  7. I haven't seen any of these and now I'm wondering if I have ever seen a movie that had a train theme. My hubby is the movie buff here, I'll have to ask him if we have, LOL :)

    betty

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    1. Oh yes and see what he says and then see if you will want to see any of these I mentioned:)

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  8. I was hoping to see Murder on the Orient Express included - it is my favourite Christie adaptation ever. It's years since I saw The Lady Vanishes. I also remember the 70s (?) remake which wasn't very good.
    Anabel's Travel Blog

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    1. Thankfully I never saw the remake and I love Murder on the Orient Express-It is a sheer delight and Albert Finney plays Poirot perfectly

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  9. I was thinking that the scene with you men sleeping in the same bed was quite bold for the 1930s. I wonder what the reception to that was, it was certainly portrayed comically. Haven't seen your other picks.

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    1. Apparently those 2 guys were a hit and appeared as the same characters in 2 other films

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  10. We have a match and a sort of match! I'm not always a Sinatra fan but he can be quite entertaining when cast properly and he did good work in Von Ryan's Express plus the film was compelling. Our partial match-up Lady Vanishes is a wonderful Hitchcock, the version I chose...not so much. And then we share a love of Orient Express. I saw it in the theatre on its initial release, one of the few times both my parents could agree on a film to see together in the movie theatre, I was an instant fan and have stayed so ever since.

    This was tough winnowing down, there are just so many great choices, I hated to leave off Silver Streak, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, The Cassandra Crossing, The Great Train Robbery, The Narrow Margin and The Taking of Pelham One Two Three and I'm sure there's others I forgot. Anyway I managed to get down to four, my extra I really expected to see everywhere since it's relatively new and was a hit but so far not at all.

    The Lady Vanishes (1979)-An example of all that can go wrong when a classic is inadvisably remade. Peter Bogdanovich recasts the roles so expertly done by Margaret Lockwood and Robert Donat in the Hitchcock original with the totally unsuitable Cybill Shepard and Elliott Gould and proceeds to get everything else wrong that the first did right. The one bright spot-Angela Lansbury taking over the role of Miss Froy that Margaret Rutherford played in the original but she’s in too little of the movie to save it.

    Murder on the Orient Express (1974)-The gold standard for mystery adaptations. Superior version of Agatha Christie’s novel of a snowbound train on which a murder has occurred and which the famous detective Hercule Poirot sets out to solve. Everything is top of the line from the set and costume design to the cast. What a cast! In every role is a recognizable face from either American or international cinema. Everyone does terrific work though Ingrid Bergman’s best supporting actress Oscar is puzzling, even she didn’t think she deserved to win. Betty Bacall is a real standout as the loquacious Mrs. Hubbard and Albert Finney gives a tremendous performance of the fussy Belgian sleuth.

    Lady on a Train (1945)-A lady on a train, Deanna Durbin, witnesses a murder from her window but can only identify the victim not the killer. She goes to the police but when they don’t believe her story she turns to a writer of detective stories for help and together they try to find the killer and solve the case. Light mystery spoof even finds ways to have Deanna sing a few songs, backed up by a great supporting cast including Edward Everett Horton, Dan Duryea, Elizabeth Patterson, George Coulouris, Ralph Bellamy and William Frawley she has rarely looked so beautiful.

    Honorable Mention-Unstoppable (2010)-Because of a stupid mistake a train containing dangerous material has become a runaway. A mismatched pair of train engineers on their first day as partners try and stop it before disaster strikes. Fast paced and exciting with some cool derring-do but nothing that pushes the movie over into ridiculousness. Denzel Washington and Chris Pine make a solid team.

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    1. There are so many great Train movies out there and I almost picked Taking of Pelham, One, Two, Three (the original). Thankfully I have not seen the remake of the Lady Vanishes but in the original it was Michael Redgrave as the hero (Robert Donat was in the 39 Steps) amd Dame Mae Whitty as the older lady but I could see Margaret Rutherford in the same part for sure. I love your selections and have wanted to see that Deanna Durbin film for a while now. I have seen Unstoppable and found it to be quite excellent actually and not over the top as so many now can be.

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    2. Oh damn, it was Dame May Whitty and Michael Redgrave in those parts! Thanks for the correction. That's what I get for going by memory and not checking the film info. Perhaps I was so horrified by the travesty of the remake it blocked my thought processes! It really is a BAD film. I only watched because I was so close to seeing all of Angela Lansbury's feature films and only had this and The Hoodlum Saint, which I'm still chasing, to see. Hoodlum Saint HAS to be better than this!!!!!

      The Deanna movie is one of her better ones, it isn't quite at the It Started with Eve level-that's her absolute best, but better than much of the fluff she was forced into.

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    3. I know...I have been wrong when I went by memory and I will make sure to stay away from the remake...poor Bogdanovich has made some real klunkers! I like some of Deanna's sugar fluff because her voice is just so beautiful-amazing that she saved the studio

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    4. Oh I'll watch any of Deanna's films because I find her so winning but even by musical standards of the period some of them are a bit hard to take. I have a friend who just loves her earlier movies as a teen but I prefer those she made as a young woman. I know it was completely her decision to walk away from the spotlight and I say good for her but it is a shame that she didn't have a crack at the superior material MGM could have offered her rather than the pedestrian stuff she was handed by Universal.

      At one point MGM wanted to borrow her for a musical version of Little Women as Amy with Judy Garland as Jo which would have been awesome I'm sure. A more solid prospect that I know she refused but would have been perfect for was the lead that Kathryn Grayson eventually played in Kiss Me Kate.

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  11. Tooot-Tooo! I still say it when I see a train going by, which has me thinking that an eccentric girl turns into an eccentric old lady. The "Lady Vanishes" sounds delightful. I'm putting that on my Netflix queue.

    It's funny thinking of Sinatra as an action hero, jumping around and all that. You've got me wanting to see that movie. Also, Murder on the Orient Express. I did go to see it when it came out, but I fell asleep. Bad part was that I was on a date. hahaha.

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    1. I think you will love all 3 especially Murder on the Orient Express which, I think I can say, is much better than that date you had (unless it turned out to be your now hubby in which case the date turned into something special:))

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  12. Well, I've not seen Von Ryan's Express, but like both of the other ones. My third choice would still have been Strangers on a Train; it is a great movie.

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    1. Oh gosh I love that movie with a passion but I have spoken about that one and The Train before so I chose these. I really like Von Ryan's Express

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  13. My recommendations are "3:10 to Yuma", "Bad Day at Black Rock", and "Throw Momma from the Train", which I understand was based on "Strangers on a Train". Of the three you mentioned, I've only seen "Murder on the Orient Express." I didn't care for Albert Finney as Poirot, not after seeing David Suchet's superb portrayal of everyone's favorite Walloon detective...

    "Bad Day at Black Rock" wasn't a train movie per se, but it starts with Spencer Tracy arriving on a train and ends with him leaving on one.

    Oh, another good one: "High Noon." Again, not a train movie per se, but the arrival of the train at noon figures prominently in the plot.

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    1. 3:10 to Yuma is excellent and I love Bad Day at Black Rock and High Noon because the train is such a key player in it even though it is limited to a few shots. I have not seen David Suchet's portrayal -is that from PBS (coming from Britain??)

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  14. ooooh...I have seen them all!...and just been watching "life is sweet" a Mike Leigh film....supposedly a cult film but to be honest Birgit a bit underwhelming.....but it passed the evening.....xxxx

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    1. ooh Good to know you have seen these and I have no seen Life is Sweet. If you want fun..see Silver Streak:)

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  15. I never heard of the Hitchcock film you showcased! I LOVE Hitch! And I've never seen Murder on the Orient Express. I will put that on my To See List.
    Thanks for sharing your train movies with us!
    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Oh you will love this film then since this was the last one he did before coming to the U.S. Murder on the Orient Express is just a fantastic film in my books

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  16. I never heard of the Hitchcock film you showcased! I LOVE Hitch! And I've never seen Murder on the Orient Express. I will put that on my To See List.
    Thanks for sharing your train movies with us!
    Michele at Angels Bark

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  17. Excellent picks! Some classic murder mystery and good old plan mystery, all aboard trains.

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    1. Yup-always mystery is involved when it comes to trains

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  18. Number 2. There's something about that movie that just gets me good with the actors and time period. Great pics. I like them all actually, but that one probably sticks out because my father watched it with us all.

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    1. Yes that is a war film that not too many people have seen which is a shame.

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  19. Number 2. There's something about that movie that just gets me good with the actors and time period. Great pics. I like them all actually, but that one probably sticks out because my father watched it with us all.

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  20. I've never seen Von Ryan's Express, nor Murder On The Orient Express. The Lady Vanishes is good, and I love, love, love Strangers On A Train.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Oh if you had to choose between one or the other to see, I would choose Murder on the Orient Express even though I love Von Ryan's Express. I love Strangers and can see it again and again

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  21. I love coming to your posts on Thursdays simply for the recommendations. I need to queue up The Lady Vanishes without a doubt. That one seems unmissable.

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    1. Ooh-thanks! Yes you must see the original because it is a great one

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  22. Murder on the Orient Express is one of my all-time favorite movies.

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    1. It is just sheer fun and all the characters!

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  23. Yes, the David Suchet Poirot series airs on PBS in the US. It was produced by the A&E network.

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  24. I was so expecting Strangers on a Train...

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    1. I know but I already talked about this film before even though I love it!

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  25. I started reading the book years ago A Lady Vanishes. I may have to finish it one day, and watch the movie.

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  26. For once, I can proudly say I've watched all three in the past couple of weeks. And I watched another AH movie yesterday - Rear Window. Perfect for a rainy Sunday at home!
    hugs Asha

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  27. Another Murder on the Orient Express. I do want to see it. I think there'll soon be a new adaptation of it for Agatha Christie's 125th birthday.

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