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A group of Confederate prisoners escape to Canada and plan to rob the banks and set fire to the small town of Saint Albans in Vermont. To get the lie of the land, their leader spends a few days in the town and finds he is getting drawn into its life and especially into that of an attractive widow and her son. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Major Benton gets off the train the first time, the sound of air brakes is clearly heard. However, the Westinghouse air brake was not invented until 1869, five years after the action in the movie occurred. See more »
Fine character acting sustains this Civil War epic.
Despite its Technicolor processing, this film retains a dark, almost sinister atmosphere, as the tension mounts. Much of the center of the film is simply spent waiting, as Van Heflin, the leader of this small band of Confederate soldiers, tries to keep their secret, keep the group together with its morale intact, and becomes more deeply involved with his boarding housekeeper, Anne Bancroft. Great character acting by many sustains this picture, notably Lee Marvin as the hotheaded rebel officer and Richard Boone as a discharged one-armed veteran Union soldier. Also notable is Robert Easton as a young confederate (Easton went on to become one of Hollywood's most successful and remarkable dialect coaches). Although there is a fine bit of military action near the conclusion of "The Raid," this is mostly a film about character and the stress of relationships. A fine effort.
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