The Battle of the Rails
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. Many of the cast were genuine railway workers. 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.
|The Battle of the Rails|
|Directed by||René Clément|
|Produced by||Pierre Lévy-Corti|
|Written by||René Clément |
|Music by||Yves Baudrier|
|Edited by||Jacques Desagneaux|
Coopérative Générale du Cinéma Français
|Distributed by||Union Française de Production Cinématographique|
|27 February 1946|
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.
- Charles Boyer as Narrator
- Jean Clarieux as Lampin
- Jean Daurand as Cheminot
- Jacques Desagneaux as Athos
- François Joux as Cheminot
- Pierre Latour as Cheminot
- Tony Laurent as Camargue
- Robert Le Ray as Chef de gare
- Pierre Lozach as Cheminot
- Pierre Mindaist as Cheminot
- Léon Pauléon as Chef de gare St-André
- Fernand Rauzéna as Cheminot
- Redon as Mecanicien
- Michel Salina as Allemand
- 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.
- Williams p.303
- Williams p.303
- Williams, Alan. Republic of Images: A History of French Filmmaking. Harvard University Press, 1992.