Runaway! (1973 film)

Runaway! is a 1973 American made-for-television thriller film directed by David Lowell Rich. It is an action thriller involving skiers trapped on a runaway train speeding down a mountain. The film was produced by Universal and originally aired on ABC on September 29, 1973. It was re-titled The Runaway Train when released theatrically abroad.

Runaway!
GenreThriller
Action
Written byGerald Di Pego
Directed byDavid Lowell Rich
StarringBen Johnson
Ben Murphy
Ed Nelson
Music byHal Mooney
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Production
Executive producer(s)Jay Benson
Harve Bennett
Producer(s)David Lowell Rich
Production location(s)Denver
CinematographyBud Thackery
Editor(s)Douglas Stewart
Running time73 minutes
Production company(s)Universal Television
DistributorABC
Release
Original networkABC
Original releaseSeptember 29, 1973

The Denver & Rio Grande Western's Ski Train equipment and Rio Grande locomotives were utilized in the filming. The Ski Train served the Winter Park, Colorado ski resort area west of Denver, Colorado. Rio Grande locomotives were re-lettered for fictional Sierra Pacific.

Plot summary

After departing the station at a ski facility, a passenger train begins descending a long downhill grade, only to discover that the brakes don't work, apparently frozen while at the mountain station. The train continues to gain speed, and one brakeman is lost trying to kick the frozen moisture off one section of brakes. It is anticipated that the train will derail at a sharp curve once it reaches level ground, and emergency crews stand by there. The train survives the curve and continues on toward the terminal station, where the tracks abruptly end.

A last desperate measure is tried: a locomotive will join the line after the runaway train passes, chase and latch onto the end of the train, then pull the train to a stop. Meanwhile, a young woman has decided to jump from the speeding train, and a young man tries to talk her out of it.

The chase locomotive latches on, applies brakes, but loses the connection, chases again but passes a "point of no return" at which point it should be impossible to stop the train. The chase engineer won't sit still for abandoning the runaway, and pushes his engine beyond safe limits to chase and firmly latch on as the young woman takes the hand of the young man trying to talk her into living.

The chase engine puts its full brakes on and the train comes to a halt some 65 feet (20 metres) from the block at the end of the track, and the family members of the passengers rush out of the station to greet their imperiled relatives.

Cast


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