Von Ryan's Express (1965)

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    There are 37 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by ethanedwards.

    • Von Ryan's Express (1965)

      VON RYAN'S EXPRESS

      DIRECTED BY MARK ROBSON
      PRODUCED BY SAUL DAVID/ MARK ROBSON
      TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX


      vr2.jpg

      Information From IMDb

      Plot Summary
      August, 1943. Colonel Joseph Ryan of the US Army Air Forces is shot down in Italy and taken to a prison camp populated by the Royal Army's 9th Fusiliers and run by sadistic commandant Battaglia. With the recent passing of their commanding colonel, the 9th Fusiliers under Major Eric Fincham must now answer to the new senior officer of the prisoners, Ryan. Also in the camp are several American prisoners who don't cotton to Major Fincham's stubborn passive resistance to Battaglia, passive resistance that has led to denial of clean clothes, soap, running water, and decent food. When two of the Americans are "arrested" by Fincham for trying to steal medicines being horded for escape attempts, Ryan points out the varied tunnels being built by Fincham's men to Battaglia in exchange for necessities, but is double-crossed by Battaglia. Ryan then fights back with an audacious order, which embarasses Battaglia and sends Ryan to a sweatbox to die. But Italy surrenders a few days later and Battaglia is taken prisoner and put to trial in which he will be executed, even though with Italy out of the war he is now a civilian. Ryan disbands the trial and has Battaglia placed in the sweatbox, but a German overflight forces the battalion to flee for safety. After a day-night march, the escaped prisoners and trapped by German forces and herded onto a train, but not before their betrayer can stand and gloat at his victory, and earn Ryan seemingly permanent hatred by the British soldiers. Ryan, however, is not finished, and orchestrates an even more daring escape, seizing the train. But with German forces all around, and after escaping a bombing raid by British Lancasters, they must drive the train further north to escape the Germans and try for the only safe haven to be found.
      Written by Michael Daly

      Full Cast
      Frank Sinatra ... Colonel Joseph L. Ryan
      Trevor Howard ... Major Eric Fincham
      Raffaella Carrà ... Gabriella (as Raffaella Carra)
      Brad Dexter ... Sergeant Bostick
      Sergio Fantoni ... Captain Oriani
      John Leyton ... Orde
      Edward Mulhare ... Captain Costanzo
      Wolfgang Preiss ... Major Von Klemment
      James Brolin ... Private Ames
      John Van Dreelen ... Colonel Gortz (as John van Dreelen)
      Adolfo Celi ... Battaglia
      Vito Scotti ... Italian Train Engineer
      Richard Bakalyan ... Corporal Giannini
      Michael Goodliffe ... Captain Stein
      Michael St. Clair ... Sergeant Major Dunbar
      Ivan Triesault ... Von Kleist
      Ian Abercrombie ... English POW (uncredited)
      William Berger ... Man from the Gestapo (uncredited)
      Arthur Brauss ... Lt. Gertel--German Mess Officer (uncredited)
      William Conroy ... German Soldier (uncredited)
      John Daheim ... American Soldier (uncredited)
      Domenick Delgarde ... Italian Soldier (uncredited)
      Horst Ebersberg ... German Pilot (uncredited)
      Barry Ford ... Ransom's Batman (uncredited)
      Brian Gaffikin ... English voices (voice) (uncredited)
      Donald F. Glut ... P.O.W. (uncredited)
      Gino Gottarelli ... Gotrz's Aide #2 (uncredited)
      Joe Gray ... Prisoner (uncredited)
      Peter Hellman ... Pilot (uncredited)
      Robert 'Buzz' Henry ... American Soldier (uncredited)
      Walter Linden ... German Captain (uncredited)
      Eric Micklewood ... Ransom (uncredited)
      John Mitory ... Oriani's Aide (uncredited)
      Ernesto Molinari ... Italian Tailor (uncredited)
      Paul Muller ... Hauptmann Josef Sonneberg (uncredited)
      Benito Prezia ... Italian Corporal (uncredited)
      Christopher Riordan ... Nude P.O.W. (uncredited)
      Michael Romanoff ... Italian Nobleman (uncredited)
      Bob Rosen ... P.O.W. who opens sweat box (uncredited)
      James Sikking ... American Soldier (uncredited)
      Al Silvani ... American P.O.W. at Train Station (uncredited)
      Lee Stanley ... English Prisoner (uncredited)
      Jacques Stany ... Gortz's Aide (uncredited)
      Brad Stevens ... German Sergeant (uncredited)
      Max Turilli ... German Officer at Plane Crash Site (uncredited)
      Al Wyatt Sr. ... American Soldier (uncredited)

      Writing Credits
      David Westheimer (novel)
      Wendell Mayes (screenplay)
      Joseph Landon (screenplay)

      Original Music
      Jerry Goldsmith

      Cinematography
      William H. Daniels

      Trivia
      * Trevor Howard was second choice for Major Fincham.

      * According to Producer Saul David's memoirs Jack Hawkins and Peter Finch were possibles for the part of Major Fincham

      * Average Shot Length = ~5.3 seconds. Median Shot Length = ~5.4 seconds.

      * The first train station, Firenze SMN or Santa Maria Novella, is the end of a spur into Florence. The train wouldn't have gone through it.

      * According to the memoirs of the producers the original choice to play Sgt Bostick was vetoed by the star.

      * This movie's opening prologue states: "ITALY, AUGUST 1943. With the Allies poised to strike, the Germans seized control of Italy. So the war-weary Italian nation fought on, a prisoner of the German armies."

      * Frank Sinatra insisted the movie be filmed in Panavision rather than the 20th Century Fox Studio's CinemaScope.

      Frank Sinatra mandated that this movie's ending be changed and subsequently this destroyed any possibility of a sequel that the 20th Century Fox studio was considering. In the original ending which appears in the source novel, Ryan is not killed as with the film's ending, he survives and with the other escaped POWs, is able to get to neutral Switzerland. This ending would have allowed Ryan, the movie's central character, to appear in a sequel. Sinatra wished for his character to be killed of to add a token of believability to the movie as well as for there to be redemption for the death of the female character Gabriella.

      Goofs
      * Anachronisms: As the Padre begins to type the change orders for the train to be re-routed, he says (in German) the date of 11 Sep 1941. The U.S. was not involved in the war until December 1941. The year should have been 1943.

      * Revealing mistakes: When Fincham hurls a grenade at the mouth of the tunnel, during the final shootout, the ground is littered with dead German soldiers. As the rocks explode, one of the "dead" soldiers raises his arm to ward off flying debris.

      * Anachronisms: A German officer uses a transistorized bullhorn to address the prisoners on the train. The transistor was not invented until 1947.

      * Factual errors: At the very beginning of the movie when Col. Ryan's P-38 airplane is flying over the city trailing smoke, the smoke is coming from the center fuselage, not one of the engines. The sound of an engine sputtering is clearly heard, but the smoke is not coming from an engine.

      * Errors in geography: The map shows the Passo Maloja in Italy before the Swiss border, but this pass was and is in Switzerland.

      * Continuity: Colonel Ryan orders the prisoners to remove their clothes and burn them. However, Private Ames starts undressing before the order is given.

      * Continuity: When the prisoners are getting off the train for the first time in Rome to get food and water, in one scene it shows the German commander's private train car already attached to the end of the train. However a few scenes later it shows a rail-yard worker helping to guide the passenger car into place and coupling it to the last boxcar of the train.

      * Revealing mistakes: Major Von Klement uses a shard of glass to cut the rope binding his hands, but the gap in the loosely tied rope is clearly big enough to slip his hand out of it.

      * Factual errors: While the prisoners are capturing the railroad control tower at the entrance to Milan to reroute the train, another prisoner gets off the train and throws several switches. A junction approaching a major station would be controlled from within the tower, and would not have manual switches that could be thrown by hand.

      * Anachronisms: As the Padre is typing the order to change the routing of the train, he is using an American-made Underwood typewriter. This was a common office model in the 1950s in the U.S., but definitely not in use by the Germans in WW II. The German military would have used a Siemag or Adler pre-war model.

      * Factual errors: During the scene at the beginning of the movie in which Ryan arrives at the POW camp and sees the burial of the British commanding officer, the British regiment is in formation by companies and the right hand marker of each company is holding a guidon (small flag on a staff). As the remains pass each company the guidon in lowered in salute. In the British Army (unlike in the US Army) individual companies do not carry guidons on parade (the only flags in an infantry regiment are the "Queens Colours" and the "Regimental Colours") and flags are not lowered in salute.

      * Factual errors: All of the German soldiers carrying MP38/40 sub-machine guns (including all of the guards on the train) were wearing the wrong ammo pouches. The MP38/40 fired 9mm pistol ammunition from a 32-round detachable box magazine. The soldiers were all wearing cartridge pouches designed to hold 5-round stripper clips of 7.92mm ammunition for a bolt-action Mauser rifle. This means none of the Germans carrying sub-machine guns had any ready ammunition available once they fired the 32 rounds in their only magazine. This is a common mistake in WWII TV shows and movies.

      * Revealing mistakes: After the uniforms of the POWs are burned, new clothes are issued to them. All prisoners appear to get the exact same uniform they had before, specifically, Maj Fincham has the same style shirt as before - wearing it with at least 2 buttons undone. Others around him are wearing different style shirts. Odds are that replacement shirts would not be replacement British military uniforms but some sort of other dress.

      * Revealing mistakes: When the Germans first catch up with the escaped POW's at the ruins, several groups of prisoners try to escape by running. One German soldier shoots and kills some of the escaping prisoners; some of the POW's fall even though the German is not aiming at them.

      * Continuity: As Col. Ryan departs his quarters for his first meal in the camp his khaki shirt shows underarm and chest sweat, yet when he joins the British officers, the sweat marks are gone.

      * Factual errors: Sergeant Bostick introduces himself to COL Ryan as being from the 113th Tank Division. There was no unit with that number or title in the US Army.

      * Factual errors: A German Soldier mentions in German that the Train moves to "Oesterreich" (Austria). From 1938 - 1945 Austria was a Part of Germany and the official Name was "Ostmark" instead of "Oesterreich".

      * Incorrectly regarded as goofs: During the attack on the train by the Messerschmitts, the prisoners on top are shooting at the aircraft with MP40s, a weapon that fired pistol rounds. As such, the 9mm rounds wouldn't have the range to even reach the aircraft, let alone damage them. However, the prisoners would have tried to fend the aircraft off with whatever weapons they had.

      * Incorrectly regarded as goofs: Luftwaffe pilots are supposed to be flying ME-109s, but in fact they are flying Messerschmitt ME-108 Taifuns. The Taifun was a liaison/training aircraft, not a fighter, but its resemblance to the ME-109 made it a reasonable stand-in for the film.

      The German commander of the pursuing train notices that the escaping POWs have loosened the tracks behind them. He quickly orders the engineer to slam on the brakes and the train comes to a halt in about three seconds. Given the train's massive size and speed, it would take much longer to come to a stop.

      Filming Locations
      Italy
      Málaga, Andalucía, Spain
      Santa Maria Novella-SMN Train Station, Florence, Tuscany, Italy
      Best Wishes
      Keith
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Classic War Movies- Von Ryan's Express (1965)

      Von Ryan's Express is a World War II adventure film, released in 1965,
      about a group of Allied prisoners of war who conduct a daring escape
      by hijacking a freight train and fleeing through German-occupiedItaly to Switzerland.
      It stars Frank Sinatra and Trevor Howard, and is based on the novel by David Westheimer.
      It was directed by Mark Robson.
      The film changes several aspects of the novel, most notably the ending,
      which is considerably more upbeat in the book.
      It became one of Frank Sinatra's most successful films.

      #

      This movie is a great favourite of mine,
      but I didn't like seeing Ryan shot at the end!
      Ironically it was Sinatra's own idea for that to happen,
      as he wanted to make sure there was no sequel.
      In fact Sinatra had a lot to say in the making of the movie.

      Great cast, with Trevor Howard putting in
      a sterling performance, even though he wasn't first choice!
      Great action.and the music scored by Jerry Goldsmith,
      all in all a classic movie.

      User Review

      Satisfying WW II yarn
      15 August 1999 | by wizard-8 (Victoria, BC)

      "Von Ryan's Express" is overall a satisfying WW II actioner. The movie is long but never boring, there's some excitement and suspense, and some action.

      The only problems I found with the movie is that the above is at the expense of characters - not enough time is given to these characters, so we don't have as much of a personal stake - so whether the characters live or die doesn't matter as much as it could have. Also, some of the special effects, even for 1965, are somewhat embarrassing.

      It's still a good movie, and it's worth watching - it's just not the classic it could have bee
      Best Wishes
      Keith
      London- England

      The post was edited 4 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Classic War Movies- Von Ryan's Express (1965)

      Hi Keith and Cheers for creating a Von Ryans Express thread. That color pic you posted looks like one of the 7 Stills im trying to get. It shows Ryan with all the American PWs. The others show a night scene where the train was attacked and a few cars are burning as well as a few pre and post escape scenes. One end of the movie scene and my favorite of this group showws the prisoners trying to go around the mountain on that footbridge and they have turned and are firing at that unseen German Messerschmitt fighter.

      One thing I noticed in that Goofs thing above is when the author basically said that they wouldnt be able to shoot down that Messer with their MP 38/40s-is wrong. My old Scoutmaster who was a Navy Fighter Pilot stationed in the Pacific, lost his Wingman while flying over a jumgle on some island. His wingman was shotdown by a villager with a.22 cal rifle. It took one .22 cal round to go through the cockpit and entered into the mans head killing him instantly. This man was missing in action for about 35 years when his remains were finally found. It is highly feasable that a round from a machinepistol would knock out a plane-and did happen numerous times during the war.

      I forgot to add that this is my favorite Sinatra War Movie ;-)) and im a big fan of Trevor Howard and Wolfgang Priess as well ;-))
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..

      The post was edited 1 time, last by The Ringo Kid ().

    • Re: Classic War Movies- Von Ryan's Express (1965)

      anyone know who the 1st choice was for Sgt. Bostick? Dexter is always good, and was a good friend of Sinatra's, but seems forgettable in most of his roles.
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Von Ryan's Express (1965)

      I dont know who the first choice was but I too always liked Brad Dexter. Im keeping my eye on the seven pics im trying to get. Should know for sure by Mon or Tues.
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Von Ryan's Express (1965)

      Brad Dexter was a real good character actor. Though I thought he was just ok in this movie. But in The Magnificent 7 he was very good. I didn't like the way they killed him off, though. It was like the producers said, hurry up and get rid of this character. I also thought, he was excellent in Last Train From Gun Hill as Anthony Quinns ranch foreman and top gun. He really looked like someone you didn't want to cross.
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Von Ryan's Express (1965)

      I agree. I've liked him in everything I've seen him in. For some reason tho, he just doesn't seem as remembered for his work as others, even tho he did a lot of film and TV work.
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Von Ryan's Express (1965)

      Actually, I thought he was pretty good as Sergeant Bostick (SP?) but hated to see him bumped off. I also liked him a lot in: None But the Brave (as the Marine Sergeant)-which also had Clint Walker. I don't remember what else I might have seen him in but im sure he did a great job as always.
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Von Ryan's Express (1965)

      While working with the costars on Magnificent Seven, Brad got into a series of gin rummy games with Yul Brynner and lost quite a bit of his salary.
      Yul thought that his dominance over Brad at cards was more than a little amusing (as well as profitable) and they subsequently made Taras Bulba, Kings of the Sun, and Invitation to a Gunfighter together.
      I prefer to think that they were friendly rather just that Brad was easy pickins for Yul.
      In one of the interviews for the making of the Magnificent Seven compiled by British TV, Brad said that of the over 40 films he made, he had most fun on Magnificent Seven.


      We deal in lead, friend.
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Von Ryan's Express (1965)

      Well, as of this time tomorrow, I will know for sure if those 7 Von Ryans stills are mine or not? Im the only bidded on them so far and the auction ends in around 5 hours.

      However, on another front, I am getting that Ronald Reagan, Steve Forrest and Dewey Martin still-from: Prisoner of War. Almost anything from that movie is a rare bird ;-))
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Von Ryan's Express (1965)

      Gorch wrote:

      While working with the costars on Magnificent Seven, Brad got into a series of gin rummy games with Yul Brynner and lost quite a bit of his salary.
      Yul thought that his dominance over Brad at cards was more than a little amusing (as well as profitable) and they subsequently made Taras Bulba, Kings of the Sun, and Invitation to a Gunfighter together.
      I prefer to think that they were friendly rather just that Brad was easy pickins for Yul.
      In one of the interviews for the making of the Magnificent Seven compiled by British TV, Brad said that of the over 40 films he made, he had most fun on Magnificent Seven.


      We deal in lead, friend.


      I was reading Dexters bio over on IMDb and he's quoted as saying that in The Magnificent 7, he's the one nobody remembers.
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Von Ryan's Express (1965)

      WaynamoJim wrote:

      I was reading Dexters bio over on IMDb and he's quoted as saying that in The Magnificent 7, he's the one nobody remembers.


      I agree Jim,
      One of the pub quiz questions over here is:
      Name the Magnificent 7
      Most folks get

      Yul Brynner as Chris Adams
      Steve Mcqueen as Vin
      James Coburn as Britt
      Charles Bronson as Bernardo O'Reilly
      Robert Vaughn as Lee

      and most struggle to get
      Brad Dexter as Harry Luck

      and very few get this one
      Horst Buchholz as Chico

      Having said that, me included
      we musn't stray off-topic,
      as this thread is about Von Ryan!!
      Best Wishes
      Keith
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Classic War Movies- Von Ryan's Express (1965)

      hi keith, its official, those Von Ryans Express pics are mine. Im not sure of the Prisoner of War pic thanks to the gent im trying to deal with having misunderstood perfect English when i asked him about method of payment. Im hoping that he will make up his mind on method of payment because he has a 2nd PoW still that i want to get. The mixup is that first he said he took money orders and now doesnt want them so ill probably have a negative thing on my record now.

      Oh and i almost forgot, I am trying for i think 5-7? james Cagney stills from The Fighting 69th. Ill let you know on those soon as i get word from the seller.

      Take care and thanks again for creating those two threads and posting pics for me.

      C.
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..