In 1963 in the countryside in England, fifteen men pulled off 'The Great Train Robbery' netting today's equivalent of $85million. This incredible film features Gordon Goody, one of the ...
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In 1963 in the countryside in England, fifteen men pulled off 'The Great Train Robbery' netting today's equivalent of $85million. This incredible film features Gordon Goody, one of the instigators of the crime, for the first time ever, revealing the identity of the missing mastermind behind Britain's most famous heist- the elusive and mysterious 'Ulsterman'.
I love movies and documentaries. This documentary covers the Great Train Robbery of 1963. Often documentaries are interesting, provocative or inspiring. This one isn't. As one critic points out, this documentary is uninteresting and forced. It relies on the narration of one man, Gordon Goody, one of the fifteen train robbers, was considered the mastermind and sentences for 30 years but released after 12 years. He was the fortunate one as most of the gang met bad luck and lost their share of the £2.6 million loot. Goody recovered his share after his sentence and presently lives in Spain.
Perhaps because Goody gives a flat, talky narration, the director was smart enough to provide for an extra: a youthful version of Goody as a young robber who also interjects and relives the robbery and scenes. That adds to drama and reenactment of scenes. A private investigator is set into work finding the missing and mysterious "Ulsterman" the unknown member of the gang.
The only other reviewer here gives a 10/10 but that person never saw the documentary. The CineVue critic (see critics) gives a more accurate review: uninteresting and forced. I concur and this film never really succeeds in capturing the drama. In addition, the mysterious "Ulsterman" is never brought up until halfway into the film and a good reenactment and description of the robbery never occurs. Instead we are relegated to listening to Gordon talk and talk and talk.
If the film is to improve, I would suggest reenacting the drama without narrative for about 30 minutes. Then flash forward to 50 years later and have Goody talk about what happened since and the search for the Ulsterman. Reliving the drama without interruption would properly set the stage for the present day. Instead, we hop back and forth and listen to zzzzzz. It's easy to lose interest in this film but it's great for background noise late at night if you want some sleep.
It's one of the weaker documentaries around. Just not worth watching. In fact, wikipedia's description of the robbery and what happened to the gang is far more interesting and informative. So just spend 10-15 minutes reading that and you are all set with the Great Train Robbery. Actual rating = 3.7-4.2 (or ranks among bottom 10% of documentaries) based on average of 5.5- 6.0
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