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The Battle of the Rails (French: La Bataille du rail) is a 1946 war movie directed by René Clément which depicts the efforts by railway workers in the French Resistance to sabotage German military transport trains during WWII, particularly during the Invasion of Normandy by Allied forces.[1]

La Bataille du rail
Directed byRené Clément
Written byRené Clément
StarringMarcel Barnault
Jean Clarieux
CinematographyHenri Alekan
Distributed byBurstyn-Mayer Inc. (US)
Release date
27 February 1946 (France)
26 December 1949 (NYC)
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. The film was distributed in the U.S. by Arthur Mayer and Joseph Burstyn.

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  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.