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The Train (Special Edition) (4K UHD Review)


The Film
The Video (Overall)
HDR Effect
The Audio
The Supplements


The French resistance much stop a train loaded with priceless artwork headed to Germany in this high energy World War II thriller starring Burt Lancaster.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

The Train (Special Edition) (KLSC)
The Train (Special Edition) (KLSC)

The Train is a 1964 John Frankenheimer action-thriller starring Burt Lancaster. Based on real events during World War II, the story is set in Nazi-occupied France. As allied forces are on the verge of liberating Paris, art enthusiast Col. Franz von Waldheim (Paul Scofield) decides he will steal all the artwork from the Jeu de Paume Museum and transport it to Germany via rail. Meanwhile French railway inspector Labiche. (Lancaster), inspired by the execution of his friend who was trying to stop the train and an impassioned plea for help from the museum director (Suzanne Flon) joins forces with the French resistance to sabotage the train and stop it from getting to Germany.

Shot on location, Frankenheimer sets the film in deep focus, stark black and white, noirish imagery with the aid of cinematographers Jean Tournier and Walter Wottitz. The action set pieces are nail biting classes in intensity and thrills, with kinetic energy, explosions, and a great sense of motion. Meanwhile Lancaster, his lack of any sort of French accent notwithstanding, did his own stunts, imparting even more realness to the thrills. This is old school, non-CGI action at its finest.

  • Burt Lancaster and Michel Simon in The Train (1964)
  • Paul Scofield, Jean Bouchaud, Charles Millot, and Albert Rémy in The Train (1964)
  • Burt Lancaster and Jeanne Moreau in The Train (1964)
  • Burt Lancaster and Jean Bouchaud in The Train (1964)
  • Burt Lancaster in The Train (1964)
  • Paul Scofield in The Train (1964)
  • Burt Lancaster in The Train (1964)
  • The Train (Special Edition) (KLSC)
  • The Train (Special Edition) (KLSC)

The Video

The Train is a “Brand New HDR/Dolby Vision Master – From a 4K Scan of the 35mm Original Camera Negative” according to Kino Lorber. It is presented on 4K Ultra HD in a 1.66:1 HEVC 2160p (4K UHD) Dolby Vision encodement. HDR10 metadata shows a MaxLL of 1015 nits and MaxFALL of 154 nits. The picture has stark contrast in the black and white imagery and crisp, palpable detail such as sweat on the stubbled face of Burt Lancaster and textures in clothing. The Dolby Vision grading provides deep blacks and nuanced shadows, some ‘pop’ in specular highlights in flames, beads of sweat, and lamplight. The overall consistency and fine resolve in the grain is strong and natural in appearance and consistent, apart from the scenes and frames where the duplicate process for visual effects lowers the overall sharpness and adds more graininess.

The included Blu-ray also comes from the new 4K scan of the 35mm original camera negative and looks just as good, with a granularity that is a little less fine and contrast not quite as wide, but absolutely great for a Blu-ray if one was not comparing it to the 4K disc.

The Audio

The Train comes with a nicely upgraded remix in lossless 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio that adds in a good bit of atmospherics and has good clarity. A lossless 2.0 track is also included that has good midrange and dialogue intelligibility.

The Supplements

Two audio commentaries is more than enough to ask for, especially one with Frankenheimer himself, but we also get a newly remastered 1964 making-of and a booklet with an essay on the film.

  • Audio Commentary by Director John Frankenheimer
  • Audio Commentary by Filmmaker/Historian Steve Mitchell and Combat Films: American Realism Author Steven Jay Rubin
  • Isolated Score by Maurice Jarre
  • 1964 Making-of The Train (Newly Mastered in 2K) (1080p; 00:06:38) (Blu-ray Only)
  • Trailers from Hell with Brian Trenchard-Smith (1080p; 00:05:17) (Blu-ray Only)
  • The Train – TV Spot (Newly Mastered in 2K) (1080p; 00:01:02) (Blu-ray Only)
  • The Train – Teaser (Newly Mastered in 2K) (1080p; 00:01:13) (Blu-ray Only)
  • The Train – Trailer (Newly Mastered in 2K) (1080p; 00:04:26) (Blu-ray Only)
  • Booklet with essay on the film

The Final Assessment

A classic World War II action-thriller with a fantastic performance from Burt Lancaster and excellent direction from Frankenheimer, The Train excels on 4K Ultra HD and is highly recommended from this reviewer.

The Train (Special Edition) is out on 4K Ultra HD Combo September 26, 2023, from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

  • Rating Certificate: Not Rated
  • Studios & Distributors: Les Films Ariane | Les Productions Artistes Associés | Dear Film Produzione | Polyphony Digital | United Artists |Vides Cinematografica | Kino Lorber
  • Directors: John Frankenheimer | Arthur Penn
  • Written By: Franklin Coen | Frank Davis | Rose Valland
  • Run Time: 133 Mins.
  • Street Date: 26 September 2023
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • HDR Format: Dolby Vision (HDR10 Compatible)
  • HDR10 Metadata:
    • MaxLL: 1015 nits
    • MaxFALL: 154 nits
  • Primary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono
  • Secondary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH

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The French resistance much stop a train loaded with priceless artwork headed to Germany in this high energy World War II thriller starring Burt Lancaster.The Train (Special Edition) (4K UHD Review)