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End of the Line Reviews

END OF THE LINE is a predictable, cliched, heartwarming, feel-good movie that says nothing new but says it well. We've seen it all before--the good ol' folks of America's heartland are being bullied by money-hungry city boys in Brooks Brothers suits who value "progress" over tradition. This time the setting is Clifford, Arkansas, home of the Southland Railroad Yard and of local patriarch and railroad brakeman Brimley. Brinley has seen the passing of steam engines and now fears that technological progress will cost him his job. Sure enough, he arrives one day at the railroad yard to read a sign informing the workers that the railroad line is closing in favor of the company's new air-freight division. Brinley has worked too long and too hard to let someone close the yard, however, so he tries to organize his fellow workers into traveling to Chicago to meet with Southland chairman. Only Helm, a hard-working, not-too-bright friend, agrees to make the trek, and the pair "borrow" a locomotive and head for the Windy City. Along the way the two converse about their lives, fishing, the railroad, and the Pledge of Allegiance (which Brinley tries to recite in vain). Eventually they plead their case to Southland's management. Basically a little-guys-vs.-big-business fantasy, END OF THE LINE has very little basis in the real world. None of it makes much sense, but this film is no more about making sense than were most of the whimsical populist films of the 1930s and 1940s. It's about entertaining its audience, pure and simple. As a result, END OF THE LINE is both enjoyable (if one doesn't think too hard) and instantly forgettable.