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The Great Locomotive Chase (1956)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Family | 8 June 1956 (USA)
During the Civil War Union spy Andrews and his men volunteer to steal a Confederate train and drive it to Union territory while destroying the Confederate railway system along the way.

Director:

(as Francis Lyon)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
William A. Fuller
Jeff York ...
William Campbell
John Lupton ...
William Pittenger
Eddie Firestone ...
Robert Buffum
...
Anthony Murphy
Don Megowan ...
Marion A. Ross
...
Jacob Parrott
...
Leonard P. Geer ...
J.A. Wilson (as Lennie Geer)
George Robotham ...
William Knight
Stan Jones ...
Marc Hamilton ...
John Wollam
John Wiley ...
John M. Scott
...
Pete Bracken
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Storyline

This is based on a true story. During the Civil War, a Union spy, Andrews, is asked to lead a band of Union soldiers into the South so that they could destroy the railway system. However, things don't go as planned when the conductor of the train that they stole is on to them and is doing everything he can to stop them. Written by <rcs0411@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A true-life spy story of ultimate suspense. High speed and inconceivable bravery!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 June 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Andrews' Raiders  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the film there are 16 raiders. In reality there were actually 20 who participated in the raid. There had initially been 24, but two joined Confederate forces after being stopped on their journey down to Marietta--as Andrews had instructed--and two more simply overslept and missed the train. These four were not depicted in the film, in addition to four others who participated. See more »

Goofs

The coaches used in the film feature a duck bill style clerestory roof. While clerestory roof coaches existed in the 1860's they would have been of the monitor style. Furthermore, the Western and Atlantic Railroad was most likely still using the older style radial roof coaches in 1862. See more »

Quotes

William Campbell: What do we tell the Johnny Rebs when they ask who we are and where we're from?
James J. Andrews: Tell them you're Kentuckians escaping the rule of the Yankees to join a Southern Regiment. If they press you closely, tell 'em you hail from Fleming County, Kentucky. I'm from Flemingsburg myself. No man from that county has ever joined the Southern army... As for you, Mr. Buffum, it might be wiser if you didn't speak at all. I never met a Kentuckian so plainly from Massachusetts.
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Connections

Version of Railroad Raiders of '62 (1911) See more »

Soundtracks

Roll Jordan Roll
Performed by Fess Parker and cast
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User Reviews

 
The Andrews Mission
3 October 2011 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

In the wake of his burst of popularity after becoming that iconic figure for Fifties kids Davy Crockett, Fess Parker starred in The Great Locomotive Chase. The film is based on a true incident from the Civil War involving an espionage mission where several Union soldiers are sent under the leadership of a civilian who knows the territory. The idea is to seize a train and destroy as much railroad equipment and track between Marietta, Georgia and Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The fact that Fess Parker as John J. Andrews is a civilian is cause for much dissension in the ranks of these soldiers who are not used to operating with stealth tactics. One of them, Jeff York, is obstreperous to the point of mutiny.

Although Parker is the star, depending on your point of view the real hero is Jeffrey Hunter who is the conductor of the train Parker and his men steal. Hunter is courageous, cunning, and resourceful and every bit a match for Parker and his tricks.

From back in the day I remember that the Disney Studio was marketing toy trains based on the locomotives used in this film. No amount of begging could get my parents to part with any money for one of those. But somewhere some folks around my age have those models and I daresay they're worth a fortune.

The Great Locomotive Chase is a fine well constructed film that is as fresh today as when I saw it in theaters way back when. A must for any Civil War film festival.


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