Milan (Johnny Hallyday) is a beleaguered old thief who rolls into a small French town with the aim of robbing its bank. However, a chance meeting with a local professor, Monsieur Manesquier (Jean Rochefort), delays his scheme and leads to an unexpected friendship. Milan has grown tired of his adventurous life on the run and wishes to retire in peace; Manesquier craves the danger hes never known in his bookish existence. Their shared admiration and envy inspires each to follow his dream.
The Man on the Train (French: ) is a 2002 French crime-drama film directed by Patrice Leconte, starring Jean Rochefort and Johnny Hallyday. It wa re-titled Man on the Train in the USA.
The movie was shot in Annonay, France and won the audience awards at the Venice Film Festival for "Best Film" and "Best Actor" (Jean Rochefort) in 2002.
Though not an English-language film, the UK Film Council awarded £500,000 (€750,000) to assist its production.
Paramount Classics acquired the United States distribution rights of this film and gave it a limited US theatrical release on May 9, 2003 to a total of 85 theaters; this film went on grossing $2,542,020 in the United States theaters, which is a solid result for a non-English film. Paramount Classics was ecstatic with this films performance in the United States market.
A man, Milan (played by Johnny Hallyday) steps off a train, into a small French village. As he waits for the day when he will rob the town bank, he runs into an old retired poetry teacher named M. Manesquier (Jean Rochefort). The two men strike up a strange friendship and explore the road not taken, each wanting to live the other's life.
Milan (Hallyday) arrives in a small town by train at the start of the week. The hotel is closed, but he finds accommodation via a chance meeting with a retired French teacher, Manesquier (Rochefort). The film tells the story of the developing relationship between these apparent opposites, though looming in the background are two unavoidable events that each is expecting to take place on the Saturday - Manesquier is to undergo a major operation, and Milan (though he keeps this secret at first) is to lead a bank robbery. Manesquier soon realises Milans intentions, but this does not prevent a growing mutual respect, with each envying the others lifestyle.
In 2011 an English-language remake of this film was released, starring Donald Sutherland as the professor and Larry Mullen, Jr. as the thief.