Monorails on Film and TV
by Kim Pedersen

page seven of ten

PRT/pod monorail through the jungle

Elastigirl prepares to board


  The Incredibles, 2004 (Movie, DVD)
This is such a fun film. Great story, characters and computer graphics. The Incredibles features a wonderful Googie-style island headquarters for villain Syndrome. There’s a very cool PRT/pod-like monorail on the so-called Nomanisan Island. Both Mr. Incredible and his wife Elastigirl have unusual rides on it.

Elastigirl bums a free ride into Syndrome's secret headquarters

High in the Nepal mountains...monorail

A closer look through Sky Captain's binoculars. Note suspended monorail vehicle obscured by clouds at lower right


  Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, 2004 (Movie, Video, DVD)
This is a great movie to get a visually stunning, 1939-style view of the future. Lots of flying contraptions and robots; great eye candy. At one point during Sky Captain's quest to find the chief villain, a massive abandoned underground facility is found in the mountains of Nepal. Not visible for long is a monorail track and a couple of abandoned vehicles. No moving trains in this one, just nice artwork.

Abandoned monorail in Nepal mine cavern

Two monorail vehicles crossing Thames River

London Monorail falling down, falling down


  Thunderbirds, 2004 (Movie, DVD)
This is the "real" people movie version of the famous 1960s TV puppet show. A suspended monorail over London has a mishap (of course, you expect a perfect-running monorail in film?). The vehicle ends up in the Thames River and our heroes rescue the passengers. Dang, hope I didn’t spoil part of the plot for you.

The horrors of monorail riding

Eggs in a row


  Aeon Flux, 2005 (Movie, DVD)
This is an “all is perfect in the future-well no, not really” kinda plot. The monorail is an odd pod-looking beast that ends up with bullet holes in it. It’s called monorail in the dialogue, but we really never see the track clearly. So, using American football’s instant replay rule, we’ll list it because the film characters calling it a monorail “cannot be conclusively proven otherwise.”

Gotham Monorail, before troubles


  Batman Begins, 2005 (Movie, DVD)
There’s a massive, Wuppertal-like monorail in Batman’s City of Gotham, and it figures prominently in the plot. Once again, monorail suffers disaster on film, quite spectacularly too. Considering how monorails aren't seen in enough cityscapes, too many real-life transit planners must believe the danger of monorail as we see it on film, you think?

Governor Rosellini, Elvis, ham and "Colonel" Tom Parker


Elvis Presley at the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, 2005 (DVD)
Albert Fisher’s behind-the-scenes footage of Elvis filming MGM’s “It Happened at the World’s Fair.” Fisher was a TV executive in Seattle at the time and captured many events on his 8mm camera. Other celebrities and events at the fair are captured as well. It's disappointing in that no footage of the Elvis monorail ride sequence is shown, but interesting nevertheless. Elvis does present Washington's Governor Rosellini with a ham at a monorail station.


Robert N. Broadbent Las Vegas Monorail, 2005 (DVD)
Lots of exclusive footage contained in this TMS production. David M. Ice captures the 4-mile monorail from all sorts of angles, and gives you a ride from the front cab (can’t do that in person unless you know someone). This was The Monorail Society’s first DVD shot in widescreen format. Unlike any of our other TMS DVDs, this production even includes construction shots.

Available in the Monorail Store

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