AuteurTheory’s review published on Letterboxd:
I’m too ignorant about cameras to describe how interesting this film looks. It’s not at all what I was expecting. I thought it would look like THE DIRTY DOZEN or something, but it’s black and white. It has a cold, sleek look, like shining black oil. Fiery explosions are pure white. It reminds me of THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD. A very European look (both films are directed by Americans, but take place in Europe). Somehow the Academy forgot to nominate its cinematography.
THE TRAIN is a detailed, step by step heist/sabotage/escape/chase story. Inspired by true events, but not really representative of the facts (according to a glance at Wikipedia).
It’s like a more complex, less comedic THE GENERAL.
I wanna go ride the rails now.
NOTE: Burt Lancaster does some of his own stunts in long takes. It’s pretty cool. EDIT: Apparently he did all his own stunts.
NOTE 2: A lot of familiar European faces show up, like Michel Simon, Albert Remy, and Howard Vernon. I think everything is dubbed.
NOTE 3: I didn’t like how the stuff with Jeanne Moreau was shoehorned in. It felt like a studio mandate, and it just slowed things down.