April 20, 2011

"End of the Line" not top-of-the-line

1987 film has a freight-related theme, a star-studded cast ... and a plot that's full of holes.

By DC Velocity Staff

While browsing the bargain bins at a local discount store, we came across a movie about—of all things—competing modes of freight transportation. "End of the Line," made in 1987, stars the ubiquitous Kevin Bacon, old-timer Wilfred Brimley, and Levon Helm (yes, The Band's drummer), along with a supporting cast that includes Holly Hunter and Mary Steenburgen.

The plot will strike anyone in the industry as improbable at best: When a railroad announces that it's abandoning the rail business and switching to air freight, two lifelong employees commandeer a locomotive and drive it to corporate headquarters in Chicago. Their mission: to make a last-ditch appeal to the chairman of the board to keep the railroad running and save the small town whose economy depends on the rail line.

The scriptwriters clearly didn't do their research, and some of the dialogue is almost as silly as the plot. We bought it anyway. How often does freight make it into film?

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