Train, Le (Last Train) (1973)

Original Title : Train, Le
Director : Pierre Granier-Deferre
Writer : Georges Simenon
Pierre Granier-Deferre
Pascal Jardin
Pascal Jardin
Sandro Continenza
Genre : Drama
Country : France
Language : French
Producer : Raymond Danon
Music : Philippe Sarde
Photography : Walter Wottitz
IMDB ID : 0070826
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Train, Le (Last Train) (1973) - Pierre Granier-Deferre


Jean-Louis Trintignant Julien Maroyeur
Romy Schneider Anna Kupfer
Maurice Biraud Maurice
Paul Amiot François le Verdun
Nike Arrighi Monique Maroyeur
Paul Le Person Le commissaire
Anne Wiazemsky Anna Maroyeur
Roger Ibanez Inconnu/Stranger
Jean Lescot René
Franco Mazzieri Maquignon/Horse dealer
Serge Marquand Moustachu/Mustachio
Régine Julie
Jacques Alric Le sergent
Pierre Collet Le maire
Gérard Degeorge Chef de gare/Railway station chief (as Michel Duplaix
Georges Spanelly Vieux/Old man
Jacques Galland Vieux/Old man
Dany Jacquet Jocelyne
Lucienne Legrand Un employé
André Rouyer Le mécanicien
Sophie Sam Chef de train/Train chief


Watch it if You Can ! The story of the film may seem a little far-fetched but the music by Philippe Sarde, re-utilized countless times and even in other films (c.f. les Egaré,s) will haunt your mind for ever.Certain scenes are reminiscent of Jeux Interdits from the 1950's but the story is different. The decors and costumes are magnificent and we have the famous steam locomotive C253 playing its rô,le with brio. The film contains black and white sequences from WW2 with the theme music playing but no other sound. These sequences are skilfully merged into the colour sequences using a very gradual change of colour. From what I can gather, the atmosphere of the time seems to have been extremely well portrayed, even down to the accents of the characters ( The typical French accent of today is very different from that of the 1940's). Some of the scenes are unbearable to watch, notably towards the end of the film and when the train is attacked from the air with a significant proportion of its occupants being quickly whisked from this world to the next thanks to a rafale of bullets ! Some of the scenes also made me feel uncomfortable, notably those filmed in the railway carriage where several different couples are copulating in a confined space !! Talk about promisuity and lack of privacy ! However in spite of these sordid surroundings, the love that grows ( admittedly rather too quickly to be true, but this IS only CINEMA ) between Trintignant and Schneider is quite convincing and we want it to succeed despite the fact that Maroyeur already has a wife and child ! Paul Le Person is excellent and extremely unnerving as the interrogator in the final scene where Trintignant is confronted with Schneider and cannot hide his feelings ......... ç,a va tourner trè,s mal pour vous, M. Maroyeur, trè,s mal !!A guaranteed watery-eyes and lump-in-the-throat ending ! The film has recently been issued on dvd in France but I doubt whether it is known internationally ! A bit of a shame as it is one of the few French films dealing successfully with WW2 themes and merits far more international renown.