Monorails on Film and TV
by Kim Pedersen

page eight of ten

Flight 93 taxis to runway, monorail behind


  United 93, 2006 (Movie, DVD)
This film is an amazing portrayal of the events of 9/11/01, documenting the point of story of air traffic controllers and the passengers heroic efforts on United 93. United 93 was the only flight on 9/11 that did not reach its intended target, thanks to the heroic actions of passengers. The flight originated from Newark International Airport. One quick clip shows the monorail behind the 757 as it taxis out for its last journey.


  Cops: Police Pullovers Special Edition No. 2, Episode #1920, 2007 (TV)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Officer Ryan Cook pulls over a car with a broken tail light. One thing leads to another, as it often does in pullovers, especially on the popular Cops series. The driver's license is suspended, she has no insurance and pleads for mercy because she's "gonna have a boob job in three days." By law Officer Cook must take possession of the car, and the minimally-dressed ladies walk away hand in hand. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, the Las Vegas Monorail track is prominently seen in the background. The series producers like this episode so much that they frequently use it in the opening with the well-known 'bad boy, bad boy, whatcha gonna do' music.

Officer Cook 'in pursuit'

Grant Cogswell, describing the amazing grassroots effort for a Seattle Monorail System that he helped start

The one and only

  Edens Lost & Found: Seattle, The Future is Now, 2007 (TV, DVD)
Former Washington Governor Gary Locke narrates this fascinating look at the City of Seattle for the PBS TV series. The segment on the Seattle Monorail Project is the best video documentation of the story to date. While some of the behind-the-scenes dirty politics are not delved into, the benefits of monorail are certainly touted loudly and clearly. In fact, Governor Locke reads off text that is almost word for word from the pages of The Monorail Society website! It's a great story with a very sad ending, but perhaps it's not the end.

Seattle as seen from Falkenbury's van

'The Bank,' faux Las Vegas hotel/casino with MGM and McCarran International Airport beyond

Short scene taken under track near Bally's

Ocean's Thirteen, 2007 (Movie, DVD)
Ocean's Thirteen is a one of a series of heist films with big-name stars, which originated with Ocean's Eleven and the Rat Pack in 1960. That film was remade in 2001 and followed by the sequel Ocean's Twelve. Ocean's Thirteen's story revolves around a new Las Vegas hotel/casino known as "The Bank." Al Pacino plays the ruthless and hated businessman, Willy Bank, which the resort is named for. The fanciful swirling tri-tower building doesn't exist in reality, but Hollywood magic provides some stunning footage in the movie showing The Bank jutting into the Las Vegas sky. Several scenes in the film clearly show the monorail track, but unfortunately no scenes include the slick trains.

Las Vegas skyline, with a dash of monorail track visible (much more visible on the BIG screen of course)

WALL-E approaches maglev station near his home

Passing a monorail maglev train

  WALL-E, 2008 (Movie, DVD)
Walt Disney Pictures computer-animated science fiction film WALL-E follows the loveable garbage-compacting robot as he stacks refuse left by humans that abandoned earth. During the first few minutes of the film, WALL-E finishes his work day and heads home by way of old maglev monorail tracks. His adventures lead him into space where both pursuit of love and returning humans to earth are part of the story.

Nice station design, but a bit heavy on refuse.

Aaron Eckhart on a monorail cruise at night

  Love Happens, 2009 (Movie, DVD)
Aaron Eckhart and Jennifer Aniston star in this romantic drama set in the City of Seattle. He's a big-time self-help author in need of help, she's a local flower shop owner. Throw in the Seattle Center Monorail a couple times and it's on our list!

Jennifer Aniston's flower delivery van zips under monorail track.

Repo Men-orail
Repo Men, 2010 (Movie, DVD)
Artificial organs can be bought on credit, but the Repo Men will come to get them back if you don't pay your bills. Set in the near future, several quick snips feature a suspended monorail zipping through an urban landscape. The film stars Jude Law, Forest Whitaker and Alice Braga.

Avatar Safege with a sky saturated with advertising
Avatar-Extended Collector's Addition, 2010 (DVD)
James Cameron
's eye candy movie didn't feature monorail when it was viewed in record numbers at theaters around the world in 2009. In November of 2010, a special edition Blu-Ray/DVD of Avatar was released. It features 16 minutes of footage not included in the theatre version, as well as other special behind-the-scenes footage. The disc version opens with over four minutes of scenes set on planet earth. An accurate representation of a Safege monorail can be seen in that segment. Cameron has said that the studio spent about a million dollars just to finish the visual effects on the earth sequence.


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