Friday, May 14, 2021

Spending Time on the Rails, a Tribute to Jim Mixter

Two Fridays ago Jim Mixter passed away after a brief, aggressive cancer sapped him of life just weeks after his 70th birthday. Jim was multi-dimensional, a career executive with ExxonMobil, a leader and choir member in his church, a neighborhood organizer, a bird watcher, a loving husband, father and grandfather. He was our daughter-in-law Allison’s father, granddad to Finley and Dagny. Jim also was an avid railroad man, hardly ever missing an opportunity to ride the rails across the land, rarely missing an opportunity to photograph and speak about trains. 

With that last facet of his life in mind, here are my favorite movies with trains as a central or significant plot detail. From time to time I will post other theme-based movie lists. 

If you have a favorite not on my list, let me know. My randomly listed movies apply only to films I have seen. 

3:10 to Yuma (the original starring Van Heflin and Glenn Ford)

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

The Train

Trains, Planes and Automobiles

Throw Momma from the Train

Von Ryan’s Express

Strangers on a Train

The Lady Vanishes

Girl on a Train


Murder on the Orient Express (I prefer the 1974 version with Albert Finney as Hercule Poirot)

North by Northwest

Union Pacific

Twentieth Century (1934 version starring John Barrymore and Carole Lombard)

The General (Buster Keaton silent film)

The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3 (either version, though the original with Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw is better)

Shanghai Express

The Narrow Margin

The Bitter Tea of General Yen

Knight Without Armor

Sliding Doors


Dr. Zhivago

The Bridge on the River Kwai