A two-part drama which portrays The Great Train Robbery of 8 August 1963, firstly from the point of view of the robbers and then from the point of view of the police who set out to identify and catch the robbers.
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Sutherland and Connery wish to rob a moving train's safe in Victorian England. They need wax impressions of keys, coffins, dead cats, and a great deal of planning in order to pull it off. Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
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In the year 1855, England and France were at war with Russia in the Crimea. The English troops were paid in gold. Once a month, twenty-five thousand pounds in gold was loaded into strongboxes inside the London bank of Huddleston and Bradford and taken by trusted armed guards to the railway station. The convoy followed no fixed route or timetable. At the station, the gold was loaded into the luggage van of the Folkestone train for shipment to the coast and from there to ...
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"The (First) Great Train Robbery" does have some notable weaknesses. The characters are a bit murky in their various backgrounds and motivations, and one player in the caper is given so little screentime that his few appearances become sudden and a bit confusing. There are also a few bad special effects. Plus, the last few minutes are a mess; they go by way too quickly, leave some obvious and unanswered questions, and an unsatisfying last scene.
But other than that, the movie is a lot of fun. The plot starts to unfold almost immediately, explains everything well, and leaves us to wonder just how they'll accomplish every new obstacle that comes up almost immediately after they got through the last one. It leads to a lot of variety, as well as plenty of action and suspense. As a bonus, there are some nice touches of humor that generally manage not to be overdone. I just wish MGM would have cleaned up the movie for its DVD release; it appears they just reused their old laser disc transfer.
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