Wow! Now that's how you open a movie. I like how Wyler sets up a lazy atmosphere of the plantation with that long tracking shot observing the workers with some playing music, others playing cards and most just trying to get some sleep. It in no way prepares us for what happens next. It definitely leaves you with a lot of questions, How could this be an accident? Who was this man and what lead to her gunning him down? And why does she react so calmly afterwards? I look forward to watching the rest of this film and finding out the answers.
What a tense opening! I think it definitely shows you how to create a certain mood using very little dialogue. These two men certainly know the ins and outs of this train and are so in sync with each other that they have little need for words. One of the most telling moments of the this scene is when the train goes through a tunnel creating moment of unexpected total darkness but when the train leaves the tunnel, this almost triumphant music begins to play. It kind of seems like a metaphor for what this story will be about. Going through the darkness but ultimately coming out unscathed.