Frank Sinatra and Trevor Howard in "Von Ryan's Express" (1965)

Von Ryan’s Express (1965) Directed by Mark Robson. Frank Sinatra as Colonel Joseph L. Ryan and Trevor Howard as Major Eric Fincham

Fincham: I can’t expect you to understand this, but these men belong to the Ninth Fusiliers. This regiment fought with Marlborough in Seventeen Hundred and Four, with Wellington against Napoleon, froze and died in the Crimea. These men are all volunteers to a man, professionals and they’ve come to fight a war.
Ryan: It may come as a piece of news to you, Major, but that’s why we’re all here.
Fincham: Yes, but each in his different way. You ought to know that, you’re a professional.
Ryan: Negative. I’m what they call at home a 90-day wonder. I’m an aeroplane driver, Major. My business is flying.
Fincham: Ours is soldiering.
Ryan: Okay, clue me. Suppose you do rig an escape. How many men do you figure to get clear?
Fincham: Colonel Ryan, if one gets out, it’s a victory.

2 Responses to “Von Ryan’s Express (1965)”

  1. It was never one of my personal favorite war films, but I acknowledge it has many adherents, and it’s realistic, and contains sharply-drawn characters. Back in the day after the film’s release Sinatra was anticipating the possibility of an Academy Award nomination.

  2. Sinatra for me was one of the weak points of the film at least in the early going. His mid-60s cool didn’t fit the part or the picture. Trevor Howard was fun though.

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