AKA The Emperor of the North Pole. In this 1973 Depression-era film, legendary hobo "A no 1" (Lee Marvin) vows to be the first man to successfully hitch a ride on the train run by the brutal conductor Shack (Ernest Borgnine), who has vowed to prevent such a thing from ever happening. The resulting battle is memorably bloody.
Contains examples of:
- Cool Train: Oregon Pacific & Eastern No. 19, the locomotive who appears most in the film as head of "Shack's train".
- Disproportionate Retribution: Try to steal a ride on this train? The conductor will smash your head in with a hammer and watch as you get cut in half by the train wheels.
- The Great Depression
- Hobos: Naturally.
- Hollywood Fire: Averted; Stack gets a full dose of smoke to the lungs when he checks inside a burning boxcar.
- Runaway Train: Shack pushes his luck, but the train is never out of control.
- Underside Ride: The hobos try this for part of the journey. Shack retaliates by attaching a large metal pin to a length of wire and playing it out beneath where the hobos are hanging. The pin repeatedly rebounds off the track ties and hits the hobos' bodies with bruising force.
- Traintop Battle: And under the train...and on the side of the train...