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Von Ryan's Express
DVD disk
Oct 8, 2004 By: The Shootin Surgeon
Von Ryan's Express order
Director:
Mark Robson

Actors:
Frank Sinatra
Trevor Howard
Sergio Fantoni

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Towards the end of World War II, an American POW (Sinatra) becomes the commanding officer of the allied prisoners in an Italian War Prison. Unsure whether to wait out the end of the War or to stage a mass escape, he takes charge, much to the dislike of the mostly British prisoners. As they hijack a train to run to safety, they encounter many problems, most of which wear Nazi uniforms.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Pretty good movie although strictly for fans of the WWII genre and/or Sinatra. It moves along very rapidly at times and seems to slow down once in a while, but overall a successful attempt to entertain you for a couple of hours. Watch for a great performance by Fantoni as a renegade Italian captain and watch for Sinatra as his usual tough-guy. The film does have some problems, most of them deriving from many way-too-narrow escapes to some distractions in the film (i.e: the woman who tries to seduce Sinatra). Trevor Howard is great as the commanding officer replaced by Sinatra and who disagrees with every decision he makes. Also, this film is marred by some of the worst deaths ever on celluloid. These guys get shot and fall down as if they were sitting to listen to Mr. Rogers tell them a story. Come on guys! Hit the ground for Chrissakes!! You just got shot!! Anyhow, if youíre in the mood for some World War II action, I would suggest it, or if you want to stare at The Chairman of the Board for a little while, then it may be your thing, but like I said, if your idea of a movie is ďI Know What You Did Last SummerĒ, donít watch this and blame it on the Surgeon, because it will not be your thing!
THE EXTRAS
None. Zip. Nada. Unless you count the theatrical trailer as an extra (I donít) than there is nothing except trailers for other movies (one of them being 1962ís "The Longest Day", by Darryl F. Zanuck, which I recommend to everyone).
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Like I said above, this is worth a rental if itís your kind of thing, but I wouldnít recommend it unless you have a prior motive (World War II? Olí Blue Eyes). If you think itís going to be your kind of cake, go for it. If youíre not sure, then move along nicely. That being said, I enjoyed it a lot, but Iím a war movie buff and a Sinatra fan.
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