Run, Von Ryan!Von Ryan's Express
is a 1965 World War II
adventure film starring Frank Sinatra
and Trevor Howard, based on a novel by David Westheimer.
Colonel Joseph L. Ryan (Sinatra), an American pilot, is shot down in Fascist Italy
and put in a Fascist prisoner of war camp there, where he becomes the new ranking officer among the Allied prisoners. He's nicknamed 'Von Ryan' by the mainly British prisoners for his initial concessions to the jailers, spoiling previous escape preparations in order to improve current conditions for the prisoners. Despite proving that he's willing to both push their jailers and suffer for his beliefs, the name catches on when Ryan sparing the life of the camp commander in the wake of the Italian surrender leads to the POWs being recaptured by the Germans, who load the survivors on a train headed for a German camp. In the shadow of the Italian Alps, Ryan and the British POWs take control of the train; trapped behind enemy lines, their only option is to pretend to still be under German control and avoid suspicion while heading for neutral Switzerland
. But it's not long until the Germans are in hot pursuit.
While making the film Sinatra met his future wife Mia Farrow (29 years his junior), who was shooting the TV show Payton Place
on the same lot.
Von Ryan's Express contains examples of the following tropes: