6.5/10
5,232
57 user 28 critic

The Train Robbers (1973)

Passed | | Action, Comedy, Romance | 7 February 1973 (USA)
Trailer
3:33 | Trailer
A gunhand named Lane is hired by a widow, Mrs. Lowe, to find gold stolen by her husband so that she may return it and start fresh.

Director:

Burt Kennedy

Writer:

Burt Kennedy
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Wayne ... Lane
Ann-Margret ... Mrs. Lowe
Rod Taylor ... Grady
Ben Johnson ... Jesse
Christopher George ... Calhoun
Bobby Vinton ... Ben Young
Jerry Gatlin Jerry Gatlin ... Sam Turner
Ricardo Montalban ... The Pinkerton Man
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Storyline

The lure of gold brings a number of people to the railroad watering-stop of Liberty, Texas. First to arrive is a trio of aging Union army veterans: Lane (John Wayne), Jesse (Ben Johnson) and Grady (Rod Taylor.) Together, with drifters Ben (Bobby Vinton), Sal (Jerry Gatlin) and Calhoun (Christopher George), they plan to accompany Mrs. Lowe (Ann-Marget), a train robber's widow, to the site where her husband had hidden a gold shipment. Lane observes that his band of adventurers will be hotly pursued by the deceased robber's gang members along with "every two-bit gunman in the territory." As the company crosses the Texas border and Rio Grande River in Mexico, just ahead of of a band of pursuers, a lone, well-dressed, cigar-smoking stranger keeps a careful eye on both groups. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The gold or the grave. The young widow could lead them to either. See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many of John Wayne's fans consider it to be one of remarkable character. See more »

Goofs

Grady says: "Hey, Sam. Take 'em over the corral and cut 'em loose.". We see a change of camera and a change in the direction of the shadows of the horses/riders. See more »

Quotes

Sam Turner: All we want to know is what we rode here for.
Lane: What a gun rides anywhere for - money. The more of it the more chances you take.
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Connections

Edited into Ann-Margret: Från Valsjöbyn till Hollywood (2014) See more »

User Reviews

Burt Kennedy's Most Perfect Feature Film.
6 December 2003 | by jtchance1See all my reviews

I was in college when I first saw THE TRAIN ROBBERS. I was already a die hard John Wayne fan. I followed his later career with great interest. Since due to the political climate of the day one was not the most popular individual on a campus declaring the fact that you liked this star's work. I didn't simply declare this fact. I shouted it from the rooftops. I dragged all my friends to see this picture because I felt it both reflected the best of Duke's earlier work and still stayed consistent with the aging hero he was portraying. Burt Kennedy's lean and taut script reminded me of the best of his work on the Randolph Scott and Budd Boetticher westerns of the fifties. The simple yarn of Ann-Margret hiring John Wayne and his crew of Ben Johnson, Rod Taylor,Christopher George, Jerry Gatlin and Bobby Vinton to recover half a million dollars in stolen gold is very simple in it's directness. They are are gunmen who just stay on the right side of the law. If they were japanese they could almost be described as landless sellswords or ronin. They exist simply from job to job. The status quo for Lane John Wayne's character is changed by the presence of the woman. Mrs. Lowe, He finds himself sexually attracted to Mrs. Lane, a woman young enough to be his daughter yet still capable of reminding him of the things he's lost in his life.Ann-Margret's character is curious about Lane who won't or more importantly can't talk about himself. Ben Johnson's character Jesse fills in the the necessary exposition but never tells more than he immediately has to. Burt Kennedy also plays with his audience. In BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID George Roy Hill has his leads chased by faceless men that they eventually are able to identify. In THE TRAIN ROBBERS our crew is chased by nameless men we never get to identify, people who remain throughout the film as a constant unknown quantity. This is a situation I don't recall ever seeing before in an A grade Wayne western. There is a scene toward the end of the film where Mrs. Lowe makes an overture to Lane which he reluctantly rejects. He feels he is too old to have feelings of this nature. The film starts to proceed to what might be considered a predictable conclusion. Burt Kennedy does not oblige. He gives us a surprise ending that totally satisfies on each and every viewing. There are other considerable assets to this project. Dominic Frontiere's score is a rouser. The opening of the film and the first fifteen minutes contain no score at all. All of a sudden we have an expansive score on the par with Alfred Newman's HOW THE WEST WAS WON or Jerome Moross's THE BIG COUNTRY. The only other score Mr. Frontiere ever delivered on a par with this film was Ted Post's HANG'EM HIGH. The other major contributor to this project was William H Clothier superb cinematography. This was the last of his 17 collaborations with the Duke and no movie ever looked cleaner or sharper. I know this film has many detractors. Everyone is entitled to his opinion but I feel this is on the high end of Duke's later work. As for Burt Kennedy I feel he delivered a movie even Howard Hawks would have liked to claim as his own.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 February 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Train Robbers See more »

Filming Locations:

Bavispe, Sonora, Mexico See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Batjac Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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