6.9/10
15,479
65 user 36 critic

The Great Train Robbery (1978)

The First Great Train Robbery (original title)
England, 1850s. A master criminal aims to rob a train of a large sum of gold. Security is incredibly tight and the task seems an impossible one. However, he has a plan and just the right people to carry it out.

Director:

Michael Crichton

Writers:

Michael Crichton (screenplay by), Michael Crichton (based on his novel)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Connery ... Pierce
Donald Sutherland ... Agar
Lesley-Anne Down ... Miriam
Alan Webb ... Trent
Malcolm Terris ... Fowler
Robert Lang ... Sharp
Michael Elphick ... Burgess
Wayne Sleep Wayne Sleep ... Clean Willy
Pamela Salem Pamela Salem ... Emily Trent
Gabrielle Lloyd ... Elizabeth Trent
George Downing George Downing ... Barlow
James Cossins ... Harranby
John Bett John Bett ... McPherson
Peter Benson ... Station Despatcher
Janine Duvitski ... Maggie
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Storyline

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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Never have so few taken so much from so many.


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When it came to casting and shooting the ratting scene, the crew were somewhat closemouthed about discussing certain details with writer and director Michael Crichton. They presented only one dog (not several candidates) and told him that this was the dog he definitely wanted. Likewise, they didn't explain much as to how they would set up the activity in the ratting pit. Only when it came time for the shoot did Crichton realize they had acquired an actual ratting dog and had captured live sewer rats, which the dog killed by biting and snapping their necks with a vigorous shake. Crichton said that the R.S.P.C.A. did find out what was happening and confronted them about it, but no legal action resulted. See more »

Goofs

When practicing the timing for Sutherland to run up the stairs, they're shooting for 75 seconds, and they say he did it in 74. It actually took 22 seconds. 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. 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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Alternate Versions

Under the terms of the Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act 1937 all UK versions of the film are cut by 32 secs with edits to a scene where a dog hunts and kills rats in a show arena ('ratting'). See more »


Soundtracks

""Pretty Polly Perkins of Paddington Green"
Written by Harry Clifton
Heard on violin offstage in bordello
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User Reviews

Good movie, gives a good impression of Victorian England as well as being suspenseful
20 February 1999 | by YgraineSee all my reviews

Some people say that Crichton's books do not make for good movies. In this case it is not so. Crichton became fascinated with Victorian England, and was able to educate the public in a very useful way as well as write a suspenseful story. The movies does not really educate in the same way, unless you rent the DVD and listen to the director's comments. But the movie gives a very authentic feeling of Victorian England and has good pacing for the suspense aspect of it. I love movies based on true stories, and this one is one of them. We know all about exactly how it was done because the main character was caught, told the court everything, and then audaciously escaped! One really important thing that Crichton says: the great majority of crimes are never solved. Something to chew on.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 February 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Great Train Robbery See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$391,942, 4 February 1979

Gross USA:

$13,027,857

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,027,857
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (as Dolby Sound)

Color:

Black and White (sepia colour) (opening sequence) (closing sequence)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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