The Great Train Robbery


Action / Adventure / Crime / Drama / Thriller

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 78%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 70%
IMDb Rating 7 10 13525


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1hr 50 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Daniel Kincaid 10 / 10

"I wanted the money."

"The Great Train Robbery" is based on a novel by Michael Crichton. It features the efforts of a band of three to rob gold kept in elaborate safes on a train leaving England to support the Crimean War. The film's costumes, elaborate sets and a score from Jerry Goldsmith are impeccable at creating a sense of Victorian England.

Sean Connery is charming as Edward Pierce, who leads the robbers. Donald Sutherland has a memorable role as Robert Agar, a top-rate thief and accomplice to Pierce. Lesley-Anne Down plays Miriam, Pierce's enchanting female companion who has no scruples about using her womanly charms.

The film follows the elaborate and interesting lengths that the gang must go to before they can even board the train. The elements of a great caper film are there: split-second decisions, tension and improvisations when plans go awry. The film also benefits from a lot of well-placed humor. "The Great Train Robbery" proves to remain interesting throughout the build up to and during the robbery.

Reviewed by Fletcher Conner 7 / 10

An Exciting Victorian Heist

The Great Train Robbery follows the standard heist movie blueprint. The team gets assembled to pull off an impossible job, they do all of the complicated prep work, then there is a last minute complication that makes it much more difficult than they expected. What stands out here is the setting, Victorian England, and the much smaller crew of thieves than usual. Most heist movies have a huge crew of 10+ characters that each need to have their characters explored. Here there is just the mastermind (Sean Connery), the pickpocket (Donald Sutherland), the girl (Lesley-Anne Downs), and the greaseman (Wayne Sleep). There are a few others, but their characters are so minor that they do not even get names. Rather than get sidetracked covering side characters, there is a strong focus on moving the plot forward that makes the entire movie more interesting.

What also stands out is the impressive stunts that were done mostly without stuntmen. Wayne Sleep really scales a wall and Sean Connery really walks across the top of a moving train. In today's CGI heavy film industry, it is refreshing to see an older movie that stays simpler with its big stunts, but they feel much realer, because they are. A lot of the movie relies on Sean Connery's natural charisma, which is the secret to a good heist movie, and Connery holds up very well compared to Clooney and Sinatra in the Ocean's movies and Newman and Redford in The Sting.

Reviewed by Stephen Bird 8 / 10

They were the first, but they wouldn't be the last

Performances extraordinary all across the board with this one; the acting was quintessentially classical, Sean Connery is a class act whatever he performs in and Donald Sutherland showed some serious weight dipping somewhat out of his comfort zone to star in a very British movie (the guys American).

Whether the film is true to life I couldn't say as I wasn't around in the Victorian era, most likely it was beefed up for the big screen, but this matters not as the film was one of the last examples of old-school British film-making.

Pierce and Agar are depicted as being cool before cool was even a thing, I couldn't see the real life duo being as cool and crowd pleasing as they are shown in the film, perfect example of how things are altered for the screen; but yes, they are villains no doubt, but not the detestable kind of villain you wish to see get their comeuppance, they're uniquely both the antagonist and the protagonist, you get behind them and root for them even though what they are doing is very illegal..., they are quite clearly anti-hero's.

The period setting was astonishing, so many integrate details and due to its era of release, not a shot of CGI in sight, truly masterful.

It achieves so much, and appeals to a wide range of genres, from drama to action, from biographical to romance, some may even consider the genre comedy to be prevalent, I certainly found some of the scenes to be rather amusing, such as the whole fiasco with the coffin being taken onto the train.

An oldie but a goody, any budding film fan should add this well put together film to their collection.

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