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One of my all time favourite Christmas movies, White Christmas features a pair of passenger trains. This is what I found when I did some research;

"The first glimpse of a real train follows a dining car scene. It's a daytime scene darkened to appear like it's at night, and it shows a long Santa Fe streamlined train behind four Santa Fe warbonnet F-units, (A-B-B-A) running alongside the ocean in front of palm trees apparently meant to suggest "Florida" but undoubtedly actually on Santa Fe's "Surf Line." The next scene, depicting a daytime segment of the trip, shows a Southern Pacific passenger train, with an A-B-B set of F-units in Black Widow paint, followed by several heavyweight head end cars and a string of heavyweight passenger cars."

Run for Cover, Western, 1955, starring James Cagney. 

Shot near Bloomfield, N.M. on the D&RGW narrow gauge branch to Farmington!  Not much left of this line originally built to standard gauge to prevent ATSF and SP from invading this oil rich territory.  Later converted to narrow gauge.  A pity it was abandoned.  Imagine boarding your train in Farminton and ridin' the rails to Durango and on to Silverton?  A big big loss for N.M. tourism for sure!

" This Property is Condemned": A fair bit of train shots, since Robert Redford works for "the" railway...speaking of Redford: "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"

"The Heat of the Night": Opening and closing shots of GM&O(?)

"Valley Of the Dolls": Opening scenes with NYC RS3.

I prefer the last two, as the shots are of "real" trains, not staged for the film... 

Mark in Oregon

Run for Cover, Western, 1955, starring James Cagney. 

 

Just watched that last night earlier in the evening on local TV. They seem to run that movie about once a month so I have seen it several times. Not enough screen time for trains is the only flaw.  However just after Run for Cover ended I found The Lady Vanishes on YouTube. Eighty percent of the movie takes place on a train and they cut to exterior shots fairly often.          j

Indeed John, not a lot of trains in Run for Cover, but where else can you witness scenes along a long abandoned Rio Grande narrow gauge line that has for the most part been returned to nature? 

In the Greatest Show on Earth clip that introduces the Great Sebastian at 0.40 can be seen part of Atlantic Coast Line caboose #0447.  There is also a short scene in the movie "starring" a Pennsylvania Railroad GG1 as well!

Last edited by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer

There is an old old one called "Danger LIghts".    The acting is typical 1930s very exaggerated.    I don't think it is the greatest.    However, there are many great scenes of steam on the Milwaukee Road I believe.    There is one series of shots of a big Steam Wreck Crane doing some rerailing too.   If is fun movie for the train scenes.

 

Buttered Popcorn Sunday at the movies...

Re Favorite Flicks:

La Bete Humaine remains to this day a classic 1938 French motion picture filmed in beautiful Black & White.

Human Desire (Glenn Ford is the engineer on the passenger rain) is loosely based on Le Bete Humaine, and was filmed 16 years (1954) after it's French counterpart.  Looks like there are several train shots taken from PR railroad promotional movies, however, the Alco FA ABBA set that Ford runs appears to have been given a special paint job especially for the movie.  In the original French release, the steam locomotive is cut off the train after it reaches its final destination, and runs to the roundhouse.  In Human Desire, the lead FA is cut off the ABBA set and heads for the roundhouse by itself with Ford at the throttle???  Hooray for Hollywood......LOL

I always watch The Train (also shot in B&W) in the German language mode, because the Germans are speaking in their native language. The English version doesn't bring out the dramatics that well for me.

The Fugitive, starring Harrison Ford, has a fantastic AUTHENTIC train wreck that was shot on the Great Smokey Mountain RR in North Carolina.  There's a short clip that explains the wreck scenes that's included in the DVD.  The Chicago El is also featured in the movie.

Please pass the popcorn and add more of your favorites...

Last edited by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer

Rails Into Laramie is a western in color made in 1954 that stars John Payne and Dan Duryea. Payne plays an army sergeant who is ordered into a town to investigate repeated sabotage at the rail-head and it turns out an old friend is involved. Some nice shots of 1870s vintage railroad equipment though much of the movie is of personal interaction between Payne and Duryea and does not include trains.            j

Human Desire (Glenn Ford is the engineer on the passenger rain) is loosely based on Le Bete Humaine, and was filmed 16 years (1954) after it's French counterpart.  Looks like there are several train shots taken from PR railroad promotional movies, however, the Alco FA ABBA set that Ford runs appears to have been given a special paint job especially for the movie.  In the original French release, the steam locomotive is cut off the train after it reaches its final destination, and runs to the roundhouse.  In Human Desire, the lead FA is cut off the ABBA set and heads for the roundhouse by itself with Ford at the throttle???  Hooray for Hollywood......LOL

Yes!  Human Desire doesn't just use a train as a set for characters who are traveling.  It is about railroaders.

Broderick Crawford is perfectly cast as an iron-pants railroad official of the 1950's, in a brown suit and a fedora.  Glenn Ford is cast as a fairly young Locomotive Engineer, who holds a regular assignment on a passenger train.  (In reality, passenger service was highly sought after by those at the top of the seniority list, and Engineers Ford's age could not hold it in most places.)  Since it is about railroaders, there has to be a woman of easy virtue, and who could be her better to portray her than Gloria Grahame?

The studio constructed a set that was supposed to look like the cab interior of an EMD F-unit, and actually does have some of the equipment from a real locomotive.

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