VON RYAN'S EXPRESS (1965) C widescreen 117m dir: Mark Robson

w/Frank Sinatra, Trevor Howard, Raffaella Carra, Brad Dexter, Sergio Fantoni, John Leyton, Edward Mulhare, Wolfgang Preiss, James Brolin, John Van Dreelen

From The Movie Guide: "Frank Sinatra stars in this implausible but relatively engaging WWII POW escape film, playing Col. Joseph Ryan, a downed US Army Air Corps pilot who leads 600 British and American prisoners in a dramatic escape through Italy aboard a commandeered train. Aided by some of their Italian jailers, who are anxious to jump sides as the 1943 Allied invasion gets under way, the POWs take over a train and, with some of their number masquerading as German guards, set off for neutral Switzerland. Initially called "von Ryan" by the other prisoners, who thought him too accommodating to the enemy, the American colonel proves his courage over and over again as the train makes its way to freedom, fending off attacking Messerschmitts and narrowly escaping a pursuing German troop train. Sinatra is convincing as the gutsy American officer who engineers the escape, and Trevor Howard gives a strong performance as the British major Sinatra replaces as ranking prisoner, but there isn't much else that's believable in VON RYAN'S EXPRESS. Nonetheless, Mark Robson's film is packed with action and occasionally technically impressive, especially in the duel between the train and the German planes that attack it in the mountains of northern Italy. If it's realism you're after, look elsewhere; but if you enjoy straightforward wartime thrills (or films with particularly stupid German soldiers), VON RYAN'S EXPRESS is just the ticket."

VON RYAN'S EXPRESS was nominated for an Oscar for Best Sound Effects Editing (Walter A. Rossi).