The Railway Man

April 9th, 2014


The Railway Man

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A former British Army officer who was tormented as a prisoner of war at a Japanese labor camp during World War II discover that the man responsible for much of his treatment is still alive and sets out to confront him.

Release Year: 2013

Rating: 7.3/10 (2,438 voted)

Critic's Score: 60/100

Director: Jonathan Teplitzky

Stars: Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Stellan Skarsgård

Eric Lomax was one of thousands of Allied prisoners of war forced to work on the construction of the Thai/Burma railway during WW2. His experiences, after the secret radio he built to bring news and hope to his colleagues was discovered, left him traumatised and shut off from the world. Years later, he met Patti, a beautiful woman, on a train and fell in love. Patti was determined to rid Eric of his demons. Discovering that the young Japanese officer who haunted her husband was still alive, she faced a terrible decision. Should Eric be given a chance to confront his tormentor? Would she stand by him, whatever he did?

Writers: Frank Cottrell Boyce, Andy Paterson

Jeremy Irvine - Young Eric
Colin Firth - Eric
Stellan Skarsgård - Finlay
Michael MacKenzie - Sutton
Nicole Kidman - Patti
Jeffrey Daunton - Burton
Tanroh Ishida - Young Nagase
Tom Stokes - Withins
Bryan Probets - Major York
Tom Hobbs - Thorlby
Sam Reid - Young Finlay
Akos Armont - Jackson
Kitamoto Takato - Japanese Officer
Keith Fleming - Removal Man
Ben Aldridge - Baliff


Official Website: Official Facebook | Official site [United Kingdom] |

Country: Australia, UK

Language: English

Release Date: 11 April 2014

Filming Locations: Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Box Office Details

Budget: $26,000,000 (estimated)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Nicole Kidman felt intrigued to star in the film due to its theme of forgiveness. See more »

Kanchanaburi POW camp was not captured by American paratroops. The camp was liberated by British and Indian infantry after Japan had surrendered. See more »

User Review


Rating: 10/10

The Pacific theater of the second world war is often characterized by a number of such decisive battle fields as Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. The Railway Man is a reminder of the madness of war that reached beyond those well-known battle fields and the profound effects it had on individuals who fought in the Southeast Asia region.

Colin Firth embodies the suffering of Eric Lomax, a veteran who still experiences post-traumatic nightmares decades after the war. Nicole Kidman plays his wife Patti with utmost grace and compassion, and Stellan Skarsgård's portrayal is nothing short of perfection as he plays the fellow veteran who is also torn by his friend's immeasurable pain. Rounding out the strong performances is Hiroyuki Sanada's Nagase, a former translator of the Imperial Japanese Army who took considerable part in Eric's torture.

While the flashback scenes led by younger actors (Jeremy Irvine and Tanroh Ishida) could use some improvements, the current post-war scenes are recreated to near perfection with mature performances from the more experienced cast members. It is also noteworthy that the film does not hesitate for a moment to refute the wrong notion associated with "tragedy of war," a term often misused to make a war sound as if it were a mere chance event and not a product of malice. The film makes it clear the pain inflicted upon Eric Lomax is nothing but an act of crime, and from that accord comes an unusual relationship between two former enemies that only a film based on a true account can deliver.


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