By Raymond Benson
In 1963, bandits robbed a Royal Mail train in England and got away with over two million pounds. Most of the gang was eventually caught and incarcerated, but the heist had been meticulously planned and cleverly executed. Hence, it was known as the “Great Train Robbery.”
In 1967, Peter Yates made a movie loosely based on the robbery itself, but everything else in the picture was fictionalized, including the characters involved. Robbery, Yates’ third feature film, is a tight, gritty, and realistic heist picture that is sure to please fans of Yates’ next title, Bullitt (with Steve McQueen). In fact, apparently McQueen wanted Yates to direct Bullitt because of the exciting car chase in the first fifteen minutes of Robbery. One can see the similarities between this one and the iconic sequence in Bullitt, although the earlier one takes place in London, and McQueen’s in San Francisco.