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大列車作戦(1964年) The Train (1964)


監督:ジョン・フランケンハイマー/Director: John Frankenheimer
出演 バート・ランカスター、ポール・スコフィールド/Starring: Burt Lancaster‚ Paul Scofield



The face off between ideas and reality

To the accustomed eye‚ the “super CG-SFX action” of recent years makes the analog sensation of this movie intensely fresh with the sound of bodies clashing‚ and the smell of sweat. Personifying this is the main character Labiche (Burt Lancaster)‚ and‚ the one-and-only coal-burning and smoke spouting jet-black steam locomotive.
The period is the summer of 1944. On the brink of liberation brought by the resistance‚ German Colonel Franz von Waldheim (Paul Scofield) is attempting to take the works of Cezanne‚ Gogh‚ Dagas‚ Picasso‚ Gauguin‚ and other art masterpieces into his home country‚ giving instructions to load them onto a train. Labiche is a railway area inspector. The resistance are to enter Paris tomorrow or the day after. If they are able to delay the train for one or two days‚ then France’s‚ rather the world’s treasures can be protected. Hearing this request‚ the other railway workers are keen to “give the German’s a blow”‚ but Labiche says‚ “That’s stupidity. Can you become a target for the sake of a painting?”
However‚ his friends participate in the plan. They are clumsy railway workers covered in soot and grease. Not caring about the paintings‚ Labiche cannot leave his subordinates to go and put their lives in danger. He evades the strict alert and sees about things at each station‚ pulling about the train for a whole day and night. Thinking they have crossed the border back into Germany‚ the station the Germans have arrived at is actually in Paris. Waldheim is unforgiving. He refuses to be hindered by these guys (as he believes)‚ and more than anything is going to take the paintings out of the country. When it comes to this‚ rather than war‚ it seems he wants to have the paintings for himself.
One after the other the railway workers are executed. Labiche is the only one remaining‚ and overturns the train by blocking the tracks. That is as far as the train goes. In despair‚ Waldheim executes all the prisoners and meets Labiche. He says that he doesn’t understand the value of the paintings‚ that he is a pathetic man. He talks big‚ and Labiche looks at the pile of murdered men who had done no wrong. There is no use in arguing about it. Labiche fires his machine gun. Here the two conflicting things are ideas and reality. Paul Scofield represented the art-appreciating man with ideas who is possessed by the Devil‚ and Lancaster represented the uncompromising man who lives in the feelings of reality. The scene of the old railway worker sweating as he strokes the carriage of the train that rests at the station is nice.