I don’t know why I put the exclamation mark in the title, I guess I just want you to get freakin’ excited about all of the films where trains feature in a huge or pivotal part of the narrative! Is your mind ready to be blown? GOOD! Let’s have a run down of all my favourite films set on trains/train film faves.
Films set on trains
Before Sunrise (1995)
Trust the obsessive Linklater fan to put this film front and centre of the pinnacle of films set on trains! Granted, not even half of the film is set on a train but the would-be lovers from different continents meet in one of the most romantic ways possible, as carefree early 20-somethings on a train across Europe heading to Paris via Vienna. This is the dream people, this is the dream.
Strangers on a Train (1951)
Two strangers. One shared fatal flaw. Hitchcock’s suspense Noir classic is possibly the most synonymous in its use of the locomotive as the setting for two strangers to meet and discover the same conundrum in their new friend: they both need someone in their lives to disappear and wouldn’t it be just perfect if you could never be traced back to the crime because you never really knew that person to begin with? Too perfect.
Source Code (2011)
Perhaps not the most obvious of choices? This film is more known for it’s weird time/other dimension travel starring Jake Gyllenhaal and directed by David Bowie’s son Duncan Jones than its showcase of America’s best public transportation. Granted, this isn’t a very nice train, it’s rather an average to poor looking train, but it certainly does the job in getting Jake’s character from A… and back to A again.
The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
Wes Anderson’s world is definitely one I’d like to live in for a while, especially if it also involved travelling across India which this train, the name of the movie, does. It is not only a train journey of physical means, but very much spiritual, like a journey of life. Wow, so deep.
Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat (1895)
Ah, the pioneer of railroad movies. This was one of the earliest films ever captured by the Lumiere Brothers, and one of the few to be shown to an audience. There’s a well known story that goes with this film: when the filmmakers exhibited the film in public, apparently the audience were convinced that the train was real and would run everyone over so they stampeded away from the “train.” If only severe audience reaction was that easy to create nowadays.
Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
Who doesn’t love a good murder mystery/Agatha Christie adaptation, especially one that involves the quintessential luxury train that runs from Paris to Istanbul? I’m more of a David Suchet girl myself and I think most will agree, but this is such a fantastic murder story, it’s probably in my top three murder mysteries of all time.
Do you have any other favourite train movies?