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Runaway Train [VHS]

4.6 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Jon Voight, Eric Roberts, Rebecca De Mornay, Kyle T. Heffner, John P. Ryan
  • Directors: Andrey Konchalovskiy
  • Writers: Edward Bunker, Akira Kurosawa, Djordje Milicevic, Hideo Oguni, Paul Zindel
  • Producers: Henry T. Weinstein
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Anchor Bay
  • VHS Release Date: 22 April 2002
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004TIUO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 281,832 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Originally to be an Akira Kurosawa vehicle, Andrei Konchalovsky's second US feature stars Jon Voight as a prisoner on the run from a maximum security prison, who finds himself and his fellow escapee (Eric Roberts) caught on a runaway train that no-one is willing to stop. Initially he tries to jump from the speeding train but is persuaded to stay on board by Sara (Rebecca de Mornay), a railway employee. But this is when things take a turn as he decides that if he is going to die with the train, and the rest of the passengers are to be saved, it will be on his terms only.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This movie may be a bit difficult to get into -- the first part of the movie seems a dreary prison story, and the characters are almost stereotypical, seemingly. It is due to the acting of Eric Roberts and Jon Voigt that one can get through this part. Then, when they manage to hop a train, things get rolling, literally. The 2nd, and main, act of the movie involves the drama inside and outside the train, and this is skillfully done, so that we stay intrigued in these characters. The final act, in my mind, is the final ride of the train, which raises existential questions about freedom and self worth. Make sure to keep the volume up loud, as the music here becomes an actor in its own right -- the movie ends beautifully with the music rising up to its full height.

I first watched this on TV, and even then it was effective. Frustratingly it has never been remastered properly in the U.S. One of the reasons I bought a region-free blu ray player is to watch this and other movies from Arrow -- they have produced a beautifully remastered blu ray: the video makes the movie spring to life (even in the previously murky looking prison scenes) and the audio is outstoundingly clear and powerful. As usual with Arrow, there are also interesting and plentiful extras.

You must see this! Then you will understand why this film has so many quotable lines, even though they sound illiterate in plain text, such as when Eric Roberts' character states, "I thought you was my friend" and "You was a hero," spoken in a mournful voice. A young Rebecca Demornay also does an excellent job as a terrified yet sensible railroad employee. Thank you, Arrow!
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Format: VHS Tape
The story of a breakout from a prison in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of winter, which then involves a train is not necessarily the first film most people would choose to go and see.
However, throw in Jon Voigt as the mad "not going back" violent psychopath lifer, Eric Roberts as the dumb kid you fell in with the wrong sort of people and Rebecca De Mornay as the love interest, looking very plain (but you can never hide those eyes) and you have a very well acted film.
Then, add a dash of a train without a driver, a train which is going at full tilt, and then, may be add a mad prison guard hell bent on retrieving his charges and you have a movie that will take you on a train journey unlike any put onto celluloid before.
This is not an action movie, more a movie with a brain, great acting, great suspense, great thrills, and an ending that you should just see.
Movies are meant to change your view on the world, take you to a new place. This does all of that and more.
Treat yourself to this masterpiece, you deserve it.
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By CAPTAIN CLEGG TOP 500 REVIEWER on 2 Aug. 2015
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is a great release from Arrow, the picture quality gets a 4/5, and there are loads of Special Features, plus two discs, Blu-ray + DVD, you also get a nice little 37 page booklet, with loads of back ground story's. Oh and a revisable sleeve, with both sides looking nice.

The film is very good with some brilliant performances from Jon Voight and Eric Roberts. Both men have escaped a high security prison, so when they bored a train to freedom, sadly the driver suffers a heart attack, and when the breaks fail, both men are stuck on a Runaway Train, which is picking up speed and heading for many perils ahead. This is a brilliant film with a stunning ending.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Runaway Train is an incredible and unique film. A three-times Oscar nominated quick-paced action movie with an existential script but financed by the same cheap-tat label that brought us the Chuck Norris dross and Death Wish sequels of the '80s - and yet, it could be the deepest action film ever recorded onto celluloid. Not only does it work as a straight all-out action thriller about two escaped convicts unwittingly hiding on an out-of-control locomotive, it's also a study of the destructive nature of the male version of the human animal, directed, written, played, edited, and photographed superbly all the way to its haunting climax.

The Arrow Blu-ray itself is very satisfying, the picture being excellent while just falling short of today's ultra-sharp 1080p standards. But the sound is really what marks this out. With the main action taking place on and around the booming train, a rich, lossless track is what's needed here, and this is what we get. The audio is cracking.

Voight & Roberts are excellent as the two escaped cons and fully deserved their Oscar nominations, and John P. Ryan does a great turn as Ranken, Voight's prison governor nemesis who personally goes in pursuit of them. But there's a flipside. The director made a big casting mistake with Rebecca De Mornay in the role of the 'stowaway' rail engineer. In one of the four lengthy bonus interviews, Andrei Konchalovsky states he was courted by Jodie Foster, who badly wanted the role, but told her she was too beautiful to be believable as an engineer working on the desolate and harsh railroads of deepest Alaska. What an error!
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