7.1/10
617
6 user 6 critic

The Battle of the Rails (1946)

Bataille du rail (original title)
This movie is a story about French railroad workers who were part of organized resistance during the German WW2 occupation.

Director:

Writers:

(scenario), (dialogue)
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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Marcel Barnault ...
(as Barnault)
Jean Clarieux ...
Lampin (as Clarieux)
Jean Daurand ...
Cheminot (as Daurand)
Jacques Desagneaux ...
Athos (as Desagneaux)
François Joux ...
Cheminot (as Joux)
Pierre Latour ...
Cheminot (as Latour)
Tony Laurent ...
Camargue
Robert Le Ray ...
Chef de gare (as Leray)
Pierre Lozach ...
Cheminot (as Lozach)
Pierre Mindaist ...
Cheminot (as Mindaist)
Léon Pauléon ...
Chef de gare St-André (as Pauleon)
Fernand Rauzéna ...
Cheminot (as Rauzena)
Redon ...
Mecanicien
Michel Salina ...
Allemand (as Salina)
Max Woll
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Storyline

This movie is a story about French railroad workers who were part of organized resistance during the German WW2 occupation.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Torn From the Files of the French Underground! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

27 February 1946 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Battle of the Rails  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A huge success in its native France when it premiered in 1946, one year after liberation. See more »

Crazy Credits

(in cast) et Les cheminots de France See more »

Connections

Featured in La résistance (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A tribute to resistance saboteurs that is neither too didactic or sentimental
14 November 2006 | by See all my reviews

Based on real life events that occurred between the Normandy Landings and the liberation, La Bataille du Rail was commissioned by the Associations of the Resistance soon after the end of the Second World War. That a war film would be put into production so soon after the end of the war and that it would prove so successful with a public that lived through it suggests a desire to show the extent of the resistance's achievements and the pride of the French.

However, Clément carefully avoids making the film too didactic or sentimental. We can see how the ruthlessness of the occupying forces in rooting out the saboteurs and their anti-Semitism is not overplayed as their portrayal seems appropriate to a modern audience not directly scarred by the events shown. Another way in which he achieves this is through the way the camera stays relatively detached from the action, showing the events almost like a documentary rather than forcing us to identify with any of the characters. It has been said that the cast was made up of unprofessional actors and in some cases real railwaymen. This adds to the realism and creates an effect where no one film star stands out as an obvious "hero", enforcing a message of "ordinary men doing what they had to".


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