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Friday, August 6, 2010

Gonna Board the Midnight Train: Part One

In preparation for our train trip to Chicago this weekend, I've been perusing lists of train movies and songs for inspiration.  Turns out there are some stellar train-centric films & music, and I'll post some of my favorites over the coming week for your viewing and listening pleasure (and because I just can't contain my excitement about riding the train).  We took the train three years ago from Los Angeles to Austin and it was one of my favorite travel experiences ever.  There's something romantic and dreamy about traveling slowly by train: meeting the other riders in the observation car, curling up on the tiny fold-out bed and staring out the window at the scenery passing by. Everything slows down, and I feel like I'm being transported back in time. I may even wear my Audrey Hepburn hat and big sunglasses to pretend I have an ounce of her glamour.


One of my favorite scenes in North by Northwest takes place on the train, with some of the best Hitchcock sexual innuendo ever.  Take this exchange between the dashing, if greying, Cary Grant and the tiny-as-a-bird Eva Marie Saint as they gaze lustfully into each other's eyes at close range:

Eva: I'm a big girl.
Cary: Yeah...and in all the right places too.

For 1959 this was downright tawdry, and the 3 minute long foreplay session was pretty daring.  But the most hilarious innuendo is in the film's final shot. Watch this and try not to giggle.


  1. Love this post! I have a suggestion for you -- read Dicks Francis's The Edge on the train. It's a mystery set on a train ride through Canada from Toronto to Vancouver. It's got a charming hero, an adorable love interest, a few villains, and a true love of train travel. You can probably get a used copy at Half Price Books -- I'd lend you mine but it's already out on loan.

  2. Love it! And I was already on my way to Half Price Books to stock up for the trip! Can't wait to read this.