The Battle of the Rails

  (Redirected from La Bataille du rail)

The Battle of the Rails (French: La Bataille du rail) is a 1946 French war film directed by René Clément. It depicts the efforts by railway workers in the French Resistance to sabotage German military transport trains during the Second World War, particularly during the Invasion of Normandy by Allied forces.[1] Many of the cast were genuine railway workers.[2] While critics have often historically treated it as similar to Italian neorealism, it is closer to the traditional documentaries which the director had previously worked on.[3]

The Battle of the Rails
The Battle of the Rails.jpg
Directed byRené Clément
Produced byPierre Lévy-Corti
Written byRené Clément
Colette Audry
StarringMarcel Barnault
Jacques Desagneaux
Jean Clarieux
Music byYves Baudrier
CinematographyHenri Alekan
Edited byJacques Desagneaux
Coopérative Générale du Cinéma Français
Distributed byUnion Française de Production Cinématographique
Release date
27 February 1946
Running time
85 minutes

The film was shown at the 1946 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Prix international du jury and Clément won the Best Director Award. The film also won the inaugural Prix Méliès. In 1949 the film was distributed in America by Arthur Mayer and Joseph Burstyn.



  1. ^ Zaretsky, Robert (4 April 2018). "Macron's Been Working on the Railroad". Foreign Policy. René Clément’s classic 1946 film The Battle of the Rails suggests wartime life expectancy of cheminots was even lower — at least among those who sought to sabotage the Nazi war machine in France.
  2. ^ Williams p.303
  3. ^ Williams p.303


See alsoEdit

External linksEdit