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National Archives

Trains: Tracks of the Iron Horse - Classic Film Series

2005-11-07 to 2006-07-31

Thursday, November 3, 7:00 p.m. - The Train (United Artists, 1964, 133 minutes, black & white) directed by John Frankenheimer
As the Nazis flee Paris, German Colonel Oberst von Waldheim is determined to take the best French art with them. The French Resistance is determined to stop the train. This film is based on a true story.

Thursday, January 12, 7:00 p.m. - Von Ryan's Express (20th Century Fox, 1965, 117 minutes, color) directed by Mark Robson
Frank Sinatra and Trevor Howard portray a pair of Allied officers who commandeer a train to lead a large group of escaping POWs out of Italy. Features a nice blend of brisk wartime action, steam locomotives, and gorgeous location scenery.

Thursday, February 9, 7:00 p.m. - Strangers on a Train (Warner Bros., 1951, 101 minutes, black & white) directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Two total strangers meet on a train and plan to "exchange murders," each killing the person the other wants dead. They would both have airtight alibis for the time of the crime, and there would be no possible connection between killer and victim. This is Hitchcock at his best. Starring Farley Granger, Ruth Roman and Robert Walker.

Thursday, March 9, 7:00 p.m. - Brief Encounter (Cineguild, 1945, 86 minutes, black & white) directed by David Lean
A woman has a chance meeting with a man at a train station. Though married, they fall in love and are wracked by guilt. Writer Noel Coward and director David Lean produce a cinematic triumph.

Thursday, April 13, 7:00 p.m. - High Noon (Stanley Kramer Productions, 1952, 85 minutes, black & white) directed by Fred Zinneman
A retiring lawman is compelled to face a deadly enemy on his wedding day and finds the townspeople unwilling to help him. Lloyd Bridges and Grace Kelly share screen time, but it's still Gary Cooper's show.

Thursday, May 18, 7:00 p.m. - Leave Her to Heaven (20th Century Fox, 1945, 110 minutes, color) directed by John M. Stahl
What starts out as a romance turns into a taut film noir psychological drama. Gene Tierney turns in a brilliant performance as she takes viewers on a rollercoaster ride of emotional devastation. She is ably supported in the suspenseful script by Jeanne Crain, Cornel Wilde, and Vincent Price.

Thursday, June 8, 7:00 p.m. - The Lady Vanishes (MGM, 1938, 99 minutes, black & white) directed by Alfred Hitchcock
While traveling in continental Europe, a young British couple realizes an old woman has disappeared from the train, leaving only her name in frost on the window. Starring Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave. Suspenseful, funny, and meticulously detailed.

Thursday, June 22, 7:00 p.m. - North by Northwest (MGM, 1959, 136 minutes, color) directed by Alfred Hitchock
An advertising executive is mistaken for a spy and winds up in a baffling battle with enemy agents, and on the run from both police and the agents. Cary Grant is smoother than ever and is well-matched with Eva Marie Saint. Endlessly entertaining.

Thursday, July 13, 7:00 p.m. - The Narrow Margin (RKO, 1952, 70 minutes, black & white) directed by Richard Fleischer
A woman planning to testify against the mob must be protected on the train trip from Chicago to Los Angeles. A tight thriller that takes advantage of its train setting, this classic B film is more satisfying than many top features. Little known Charles McGraw and Marie Windsor deliver top performances.
***shown in Bush Library auditorium***

Thursday, July 27, 7:00 p.m. - The Harvey Girls (MGM, 1946, 102 minutes, color) directed by George Sidney
High-wattage star power (Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Angela Landsbury, Cyd Charisse) is on display in this tale of young women traveling west by train to open a "Harvey House" restaurant at a remote whistle stop. The average script is bolstered by a terrific musical score.
***shown in Bush Library auditorium***

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