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The Battle of the Rails

The Battle of the Rails

A Feature film by René Clément

Produced by Coopérative Générale du Cinéma Français (CGCF)

Release in France : 27/02/1946

  • Contents

Actors (13)

Production and distribution (3)

TV Broadcasts: Cumulative total

TV broadcasts: details by country


Acts of slow down and sabotage announce that French railway men don't accept the presence of the "Boche" willingly. . Trains are misdirected, rails are damaged. Jews are helped to escape. Resistance fighters and their messages are smuggled from place to place. We learn that there are "good guys" and "bad guys" among the French rail employees. The "trade craft" of espionage is practiced as French rail workers fight the twilight struggle against collaborators and the German oppressors. Not every character is who he seems. After the D-Day landings the tempo of resistance escalates. Tension mounts as the Germans desperately try to bring tanks and men into battle to throw back the invaders. The light infantry of the Maquis fights a pitched battle with an armored rail convoy of Germans on their way to Normandy. After initial German successes the Resistance wins, but at a high price. French morale is the intended object of this record of heroic resistance against odds. The black and white of the film is matched by the "black and white" of collaborators and "La Resistance."


Source : dr


Full credits (11)

Assistant Director :

Claude Clément

Screenwriter :

René Clément

Sound Recordist :

Constantin Evangelou

Editor :

Lucien Desagneaux

Music Composer :

Yves Baudrier

Location Manager :

Armand Bécüe

Dialogue Writer :

Colette Audry

Director of Photography :

Henri Alekan

Production Manager :

Pierre Levy-Corti

Production Designer :

Jacques Desagneaux

Narrator :

Charles Boyer

Technical details

Feature film

Genres :


Sub-genre :

Drama, War

Production language :


Original French-language productions :


Nationality :

100% French

Production year :


French release :


Runtime :

1 h 25 min

Current status :


Visa number :


Visa issue date :


Approval :


Production formats :


Color type :

Black & White

Aspect ratio :


Audio format :


Posters (1)


Festival Selections (2)

Cannes International Film Festival - 1946

Cannes International Film Festival (France, 1946)


Official Competition

Awards (2)

Cannes International Film Festival - 1946

Cannes International Film Festival (France, 1946)

Awards (2)

Best Direction Award

Special Jury Prize

French Syndicate of Cinema Critics - 1946

French Syndicate of Cinema Critics (1946)


French Syndicate of Cinema Critics Price