IMDb > The Great Train Robbery (1978)
The First Great Train Robbery
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The Great Train Robbery (1978) More at IMDbPro »The First Great Train Robbery (original title)

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Overview

User Rating:
7.0/10   10,025 votes »
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Up 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Michael Crichton (screenplay)
Michael Crichton (novel)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Great Train Robbery on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 February 1979 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
Never have so few taken so much from so many.
Plot:
In Victorian England, a master criminal makes elaborate plans to steal a shipment of gold from a moving train. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Gold | Key | Safe | Train | Bank
See more »
Awards:
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
If you've turned nose on me I'll see you in Lavender. See more (47 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Sean Connery ... Pierce

Donald Sutherland ... Agar

Lesley-Anne Down ... Miriam
Alan Webb ... Trent
Malcolm Terris ... Fowler
Robert Lang ... Sharp

Michael Elphick ... Burgess
Wayne Sleep ... Clean Willy

Pamela Salem ... Emily Trent

Gabrielle Lloyd ... Elizabeth Trent
George Downing ... Barlow
James Cossins ... Harranby
John Bett ... McPherson
Peter Benson ... Station Despatcher
Janine Duvitski ... Maggie
Brian de Salvo ... Trent's Butler (as Brian De Salvo)

André Morell ... Judge (as Andre Morell)
Donald Churchill ... Prosecutor
Brian Glover ... Captain Jimmy
Noel Johnson ... Connaught
Peter Butterworth ... Putnam
Patrick Barr ... Burke
Hubert Rees ... Lewis
Agnes Bernelle ... Woman on Platform
Frank McDonald ... P.C. London Bridge Station
Joe Cahill ... Rail Guard
Cecil Nash ... Chaplain
Susan Hallinan ... Emma Barnes
Oliver Smith ... Ratting Assistant
John Altman ... First Pickpocket
Paul Kember ... Second Pickpocket
Geoff Ferris ... Third Pickpocket
Jenny Till ... Woman on Strand
Craig Stokes ... Urchin on Strand
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Brooke Adams ... (uncredited)
Donald Hewlett ... Club Member (uncredited)
Nuala Holloway ... Call Girl (uncredited)
Geoffrey Unsworth ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Michael Crichton 
 
Writing credits
Michael Crichton (screenplay)

Michael Crichton (novel)

Produced by
John Foreman .... producer
 
Original Music by
Jerry Goldsmith 
 
Cinematography by
Geoffrey Unsworth 
 
Film Editing by
David Bretherton 
Peter Elliott 
 
Casting by
Mary Selway 
 
Production Design by
Maurice Carter 
 
Art Direction by
Bert Davey 
 
Costume Design by
Anthony Mendleson 
 
Makeup Department
Elaine Bowerbank .... hair stylist
Basil Newall .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Al Burgess .... production manager
Jack Phelan .... unit manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Chris Carreras .... second assistant director
Gerry Gavigan .... second assistant director
Anthony Waye .... assistant director
Dick Ziker .... action director
 
Art Department
Jim Morahan .... chief draughtsman
Joe Nevin .... property buyer
Ron Quelch .... property buyer
George Richardson .... assistant art director
Hugh Scaife .... set dresser
Vic Simpson .... construction manager
Tom Jung .... poster artist (uncredited)
Tom Jung .... poster designer (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Derek Ball .... sound mixer
Chris Barnes .... dubbing editor
Gerry Humphreys .... dubbing mixer (as Gerry Humphries)
Vernon Messenger .... dubbing editor
Terry Poulton .... dubbing editor
 
Camera and Electrical Department
John Campbell .... focus puller
Gordon Hayman .... camera operator
Brandon Apps .... clapper loader (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Rebecca Breed .... wardrobe mistress
Richard Pointing .... wardrobe master
 
Editorial Department
Norma Hazelden .... post-production secretary
 
Music Department
Michael Clifford .... music editor
Gordon Langford .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Arthur Dunne .... transportation manager
John King .... unit driver
 
Other crew
Ron Allday .... production accountant
Patti Calhoun .... secretary to director
Dino De Laurentiis .... presenter
Reg Dent .... horse master
Sue Edwards .... secretary to producer
Don Geraghty .... location manager
Derrick Norwood .... assistant accountant
Loretta Ordewer .... production secretary
Jean Skinner .... continuity
 
Thanks
Geoffrey Unsworth .... this film is dedicated to the memory of: his friends miss him
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The First Great Train Robbery" - UK (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
110 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Black and White (sepia colour) | Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Dolby | Dolby (as Dolby Sound)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Canada:PG (Manitoba) | Canada:A (Nova Scotia) | Canada:PG (Ontario - 2006) | Canada:AA (Ontario) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Finland:K-12 | Germany:12 (DVD rating) | Ireland:PG | Netherlands:6 | Singapore:PG | South Korea:15 (DVD rating) | Sweden:15 | UK:AA (original rating) (passed with cuts) | UK:15 (video rating) (cut) | UK:12 (video re-rating) (cut) | USA:PG (certificate #25484) | West Germany:12 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The method in which Henry Fowler's key is copied was changed for the film. In the book, Henry Fowler contracts syphilis and, because a rumored cure is to have intercourse with a virgin, has intercourse with a twelve-year-old (presumably virgin) prostitute (in Victorian times, the age of consent for females was twelve), in the course of which his key is abstracted and copied. For comic effect and so as not to depict child sex/pornography, the plot is changed in the screenplay to have Pierce set Fowler up with Miss Miriam (disguised as a high-class prostitute), copy his key while she is disrobing him and then fake a police raid on the bordello before Fowler can even get her undressed.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: Pierce and Agar use an electric torch in the cellar. In 1855.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Edward Pierce:[narration] 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...
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
I Dreampt I Dwelt in Marble HallsSee more »

FAQ

What are the differences between the European DVD versions and the uncut version?
How does the movie end?
What is this movie about?
See more »
8 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
If you've turned nose on me I'll see you in Lavender., 11 August 2011
Author: The-Spike from United Kingdom

The First Great Train Robbery is directed by Michael Crichton who also writes the screenplay. It stars Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland, Lesley-Anne Down, Wayne Sleep, Robert Lang, Alan Webb and Andre Morell. Music is scored by Jerry Goldsmith and cinematography by Geoffrey Unsworth. The story is loosely based on the real Great Gold Robbery of 1855, where a rogue criminal named William Pierce and his cohorts executed the theft of £12,000 in gold from a speeding train on route to aid the British Army during the Crimean War.

A delightful period caper picture that's high on production value and fun characterisations. Split into two halves, Crichton's movie makes light of the actual crime to portray Connery and co as lovable rogues, thus hooking the viewer in to actually root for them to pull off the intricate crime. First half (well it's more two thirds of the film to be exact) details how the robbers obtained the four keys needed to get into the safe. Harder than it sounds since they are in different locations to one and other and guarded over by different officials. Naturally there are scrapes, skirmishes and obstacles to overcome during this complex operation, and no short amount of humour and tension either. Then it's on to the actual crime, which buzzes ferociously with derring do and ingenious cheek! It may have been loaded with chitter chatter and much bluffing of the way leading up to it, but the pay off is excellent and not without genuine excitement as Connery's (doing his own stunt work) Pierce and Sutherland's safe cracking Agar pull off the seemingly impossible.

Benefiting the film greatly is Crichton's attention to detail, where he thrives on the Victorian England setting. From the streets, the costumes, the dialogue and mannerisms of the characters, they all fit nicely within the narrative. Helps, too, that the cast are playing it with tongue in cheek, Connery and Sutherland are revelling in playing roguish dandies, splendidly attired facially with quality face fuzz and Down raises the temperature of Connery and male audience members alike. Probably her best ever performance, Crichton writes a good role for Down that sees her not only as a sexy head turner (it's unlikely that Victorian underwear has ever looked this sexy before in film), but also as an observant member of the gang; one who isn't too shabby on the disguise front either. Dancer Wayne Sleep is nicely cast as a fleet footed housebreaker, while Lang, Webb, Morell and Michael Elphick pitch their respective performances just right. Goldsmith's score is energetic and Unsworth's (his last film as he sadly passed away shortly after shooting it) photography is a lesson in quality without trickery.

Fanciful and tame if compared to the big budgeted actioners of today, The First Great Train Robbery none the less is testament that simplicity of plot and a keenness to entertain is sometimes all you need. 8/10

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Great Train Robbery (1978)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
1978 or 1979? GusF
2 x 2 keys look the same so why did they were going all those trouble.. andypsv
Piano duet... slainzcasl
Connery's stunts rokshok183
Guys leaning on taut ropes Loose_head
Question Etymology/Meaning of phrase 'I'll see you in Lavender.' Cougarah
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