Not all of the films shown at the annual TCM Classic Film Festival (4.25 to 4.28) have been recently restored and released on Bluray (or are due for a Bluray release down the road). But a great many are, and so I naturally wondered if the Saturday, 4.27 screening of John Frankenheimer‘s The Train indicated a possible Bluray release…I hope, I hope, I hope, I hope.
Or was it included because The Train seems newly relevant because George Clooney‘s Monuments Man, which uses Rose Valland‘s Nazis-trying-to-steal-French-art saga that Frankenheimer’s fictional film was based upon, is opening next December?
In an email received this morning, TCM programmer Genevieve McGillicuddy told me “no” on both counts. The Train (which is being screened in 35 mm) was chosen for three reasons, she informed. (1) “It’s a terrific, underappreciated movie,” (2) “It also fits in very well with our ‘Cinematic Journeys’ theme this year” and (3) “This year is also the 100th anniversary of Burt Lancaster‘s birth.”
So to summarize, one of the smartest and most beautifully shot and paced older action films ever made (and the last major-studio action film shot in black-and-white) is crying out for a Bluray release, and the World War II history behind The Train is about to enter the conversation in a few months’ time…and the TCM Classic Film Festival’s principal reasons for showing The Train, apart from the quality consideration, have to do with (a) tributing movies that offer intriguing travel destinations and (b) blowing out birthday candles.