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The Great Locomotive Chase (1956)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 535 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 4 critic

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.

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(as Francis Lyon)
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Title: The Great Locomotive Chase (1956)

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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
Claude Jarman Jr. ...
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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Only 13 pieces of equipment were actually used: two full-sized locomotives, one yard engine, three passenger cars, two iron boxcars and five wooden boxcars that were built specifically to be destroyed in the film. The various pieces of equipment bore different numbers on different trains throughout the movie. See more »

Goofs

The switches shown are of the point blade variety which were not used before the 1880's. Thw switches on the Western & Atlantic would have been stub switches in 1862. See more »

Quotes

[the train is about to pull into Big Shanty]
James J. Andrews: Have a good breakfast, Mr. Fuller. And don't you worry about any deserters, I'll *take care* of your train.
See more »


Soundtracks

Tenting On The Old Camp Ground
Written by Walter Kittredge
Performed by Fess Parker and cast
See more »

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User Reviews

Standard chase drama – nothing special but still quite entertaining and interesting
16 July 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

During the American Civil War, the Union knows that weakening the Confederate's transportation networks will greatly increase the chances of an attack being successful. James Andrews has been undercover within the South for some time so he is tasked with leading a group of men in as spies to get to the main railway bridges and burn them down. Things are edgy but going well until a zealous conductor on a train spots the men and plans to head the alarm. With no choice but to act, Andrews seizes the train and steals it to get quickly to his target blocking the track and chopping down telegraph lines along the way. However William Fuller is not to be put off and sets out in pursuit.

Supposedly a true story this Disney film is a basic but entertaining adventure that is more about getting a simple chase going than it is about painting an educational historical piece. However this is not a major criticism because it is rather interesting and fun despite being a pretty base piece of film-making. The chase is never that exciting but it does provide some energy into the film, while the solid characters are engaging enough for what is essentially a film aimed at older children. The lack of tension or danger was a problem for me because I didn't think the mission should feel like the jolly jape that most of this makes it out to be – I imagine many viewers will struggle with the bright colourful pictures that this is presented in.

The cast are solid enough; few so anything special but most of them fill their roles well and make reasonable fists of the job. Parker has a big strong chest and a big square jaw and my God does he use them at every chance he gets – hardly a performance but good enough for the type of film. Lupton is more interesting in a smaller role. Hunter is fun as Fuller although I would have liked a bit more humour in his performance. Support from York, Firestone and a few others is good but none of them are anything that special. Much like the film itself, the actors all do the minimum but generally do OK.

Overall this is an OK film that is worth seeing as a bit of dramatic chase movie with aims of historical education that it never really pulls off. It is very much a Disney drama and lacks danger, tension or darkness but it is entertaining and interesting enough to do the job in you are in quite an undemanding mood – a lazy Sunday afternoon is probably the best time to give this a go, but just don't expect much.


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