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 »

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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

The large banner seen at the Hyde Park, London festivities read: "Crystal Palace Sydenham 2nd June Horticultural Fete Judging of 39 Classes of Plants". See more »

Goofs

When Clean Willy escapes from jail, the shadow & sunlight on the ground change dramatically from when he first runs across the yard to when he makes it over the top of the wall. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in America Live in Central Park (1981) 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

 
Quite exciting...
26 January 2009 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

'The First Great Train Robbery' is about a quite impossible mission in Victorian underworld... It is about 25,000 pounds in gold bars placed in strongboxes and taken by armed security guards to the railway station...

'The First Great Train Robbery' is about the fastest pickpocket you'll ever see, a suave and daring gentleman who never tells the truth… It is also about a bunch crooks that can steal your heart with the company of a fascinating disguised mistress who suspects that her father breaks his own regulation for each morning of the shipments...

'The First Great Train Robbery' chronicles the grandeur and hypocrisy at all levels of England during the Victorian Era, and proves that the cleverness and prowess of a criminal mastermind is elevated to heroic status...

With excellent photography of Ireland beautiful countryside, and great music score by Jerry Goldsmith, plus the costumes and sets, Michael Crichton's movie gives train heist's fans the pleasure to enjoy a very entertaining period thriller


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French

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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (as Dolby Sound)

Color:

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

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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