Der Zug (1964)

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Der Zug: Directed by John Frankenheimer, Arthur Penn. With Burt Lancaster, Paul Scofield, Jeanne Moreau, Suzanne Flon. In 1944, a German colonel loads a train with French art treasures to send to Germany. The Resistance must stop it without damaging the cargo.

“The movie is about the Nazis taking u0026#39;degenerateu0026#39; modern paintings out of Paris as the allies are approaching. The officer in charge of the spoils, Colonel Von Waldheim, is secretly in love with the art he is supposed to hate; his official motivation is based on u0026quot;cash value.u0026quot; The French train workers, led by Labiche, have no appreciation for the art and are unaware of its cultural importance, but nevertheless fight the Germans out of patriotism, against their better instincts.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eFrantic, weary tension comes from the closeness of end of the war, a desperate time that drives the characters well past sane restraint. The Germans can no longer deny their impending doom. Grit comes from massive steam locomotives shot in black and white. The mortal struggle plays out on a personal level. The action is relentless.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe director, John Frankenheimer, relies on the intelligence and empathy of the audience to convey his story. Much of the movie is concerned with the mechanicals of how a railroad works. It shows the dignity and solidarity of the workers, and their huge effort.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe theme is the waste, the cost of war — what is worth fighting for, what you actually do fight for even though it does not seem to be worth it, and the capricious outcome. The tally comes at the final scene. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eu0026quot;The Trainu0026quot; is a perfect action-adventure war drama.”

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