The First Great Train Robbery

Never have so few taken so much from so many.

Thriller Adventure Drama
110 min     6.673     1978     United Kingdom


In Victorian England, a master criminal makes elaborate plans to steal a shipment of gold from a moving train.


Wuchak wrote:
_**Robbing a train of a shipment of gold in Victorian England**_ Written/directed by Michael Crichton and released in 1978/79, “The Great Train Robbery” was loosely based on the real-life Great Gold Robbery of 1855 that took place in England. Sean Connery plays the mastermind, Lesley-Anne Down his girlfriend and Donald Sutherland a safecracker with whom they team-up. I generally don’t like caper films because the protagonists are criminals, but Crichton wisely makes the characters played by Connery and Sutherland likable rapscallions; meanwhile Down is babelicious, in particular in her jaw-dropping first scene. Crichton intentionally made the movie more farcical compared to his novel and I appreciated the wit and low-key humor. I didn’t expect to like this movie, but it won me over. The film runs 1 hour, 51 minutes, and was shot primarily in Ireland (Dublin, Bray, Cork & Moate), but also Pinewood Studios, England. GRADE: B-/B
JPV852 wrote:
Seen this once before many years ago but decided to check out the new Blu-ray from Kino Lorber. A solid heist-thriller though what struck me was these thieves were stealing gold meant for British soldiers, so not exactly stealing from some corporation, and our lead played by Sean Connery had no issue murdering a guy. Even so, still found it entertaining and some suspense-filled scenes, among them a great sequence with Connery on top of a moving train. **3.75/5**
CinemaSerf wrote:
I think it's Jerry Goldsmith's opening theme that gives a clue that we're in for some fun antics on the railways! That's confirmed when Michael Elphick chucks some would-be robber from the speeding carriage down an embankment where he lands at the feet of "Pierce" (Sean Connery). This bowler hatted gent wouldn't have been out of place in the Reform Club at the start of "Around the World in Eighty Days", so is a natural at another gentleman's club where the manager of a bank is bragging about their impregnable transfer of gold to pay the soldiers of the Crimea. Hardly patriotic, but "Pierce" has his eyes on this bullion and so with the help of girlfriend "Miriam" (Lesley-Anne Down) and cracksman "Agar" (Donald Sutherland) sets about doing the impossible - robbing a ton's worth of gold from a moving train. Each key to the safe is kept separately, so they have to use their guile and wits to find them, copy them, and return them without anyone suspecting! It's this series of escapades that is quite fun to watch whilst shining a light on the double-standards of the Victorian elite. Can they all get away with it? Well this is one of those charismatic ensemble efforts that makes you hope that they do. There's mischief a plenty, some precision thievery and quite impressive acrobatics from the nimble Wayne Sleep along the way too. Hats off to Sutherland though. What was he doing with that cat in the coffin?