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Feature
20 Of Cinema’s Best Train-Based Fight Scenes
All aboard the 3:10 to kabooma

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As fast and exciting and sexy and shiny as cars are, it’s difficult to have a lengthy fight scene on top of them, and that’s no good. Thank goodness trains are here to plug the gap, offering the speed and (relative) space required for a good punch-up, be it on the roof or inside one of its carriages. Two films released in 2013 have played around with the cinematic trope of train-based pain, and in honour of both The Wolverine and The Lone Ranger, here is a collection of some of the best train fights ever committed to celluloid.

WORDS PHIL DE SEMLYEN, ALASTAIR PLUMB
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From Russia With Love (1963), Live And Let Die (1973), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Octopussy (1983), Skyfall (2012)

For Bond, trains serve three functions. They are fight locations, flirting locations and keeping-the-British-end-up locations. Roger Moore’s incarnation in Live And Let Die manages all three, with Jane Seymour’s Solitaire bundled away in a bunk by Tee Hee’s (Julius Harris) super-powered tin opener arm before Bond lobs him (sans robo-limb) out of the window. See also: The Spy Who Loved Me, where a man with metal teeth (Richard Kiel's Jaws) instead of a metal arm is also tossed through a pane of glass and out of the train.

Connery does a similar trick in From Russia With Love, though Daniela Bianchi’s Tatiana Romanova is elsewhere, and no metal bodyparts are involved. What’s most notable about Octopussy’s locomotive scrap, meanwhile, is Bond turning his Merc into a petrol-powered pump trolley, rather than any funicular fisticuffs. Moore leaves that to Daniel Craig in Skyfall – until he takes his unfortunate fall through the sky.

From Russia With Love (1963)

Live And Let Die (1973)

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

Octopussy (1983)

Skyfall (2012)

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Your Comments

1 RE: 20 Of Cinema’s Best Train-Based Fight Scenes
Does Jones and the Last Crusadeunt? And while we're on the subject of Indy and TLC: where's b], eh? *throws Empire off the train* No ticket! More

Posted by Jedit on Tuesday August 27, 2013, 19:30

2 RE: Unstoppable?
That scene in Emperor Of The North is fantastic. The Orient Express bawl in From Russia With Love is one of my all-time favourite movie fights. Despite what many say, the train sequence in Speed might be my favourite part of the movie. And yes, that chase in The Wrong Trousers is bloody genius ut THAT scene in Spider-Man 2 takes the cake. The best showdown between a superhero and supervillain yet filmed. More

Posted by Mr Gittes on Wednesday August 14, 2013, 22:16


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