×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The First Great Train Robbery

Based on fact, the story [from the novel by Michael Crichton] concerns the first recorded heist from a moving train. Suave arch-criminal Sean Connery enlists Donald Sutherland, Wayne Sleep, in a bid to lift a payroll of gold bars destined for the Crimea in 1855. A vital part, or rather series of parts, in the plan is played by Lesley-Anne Down as Connery's versatile yet reliable mistress.

With:
Sean Connery Donald Sutherland Lesley-Anne Down Wayne Sleep Michael Elphick Alan Webb

Based on fact, the story [from the novel by Michael Crichton] concerns the first recorded heist from a moving train. Suave arch-criminal Sean Connery enlists Donald Sutherland, Wayne Sleep, in a bid to lift a payroll of gold bars destined for the Crimea in 1855. A vital part, or rather series of parts, in the plan is played by Lesley-Anne Down as Connery’s versatile yet reliable mistress.

The actual theft is ingenious. The film’s highpoint comes when Connery clambers from car roof to car roof as the steam train speeds smokily under low bridges.

Crichton’s films drag in dialog bouts, but triumph when action takes over.

Handling of the train sequences by cinematographer Geoffrey Unsworth is a lesson in the superior effectiveness of a well-placed camera over fancy tricks. A final caption dedicates the film to his memory, stating: ‘His friends miss him.’ So will his audiences.

The First Great Train Robbery

UK

Production: United Artists/De Laurentiis. Director Michael Crichton; Producer John Foreman; Screenplay Michael Crichton; Camera Geoffrey Unsworth; Editor David Bretherton; Music Jerry Goldsmith; Art Director Maurice Carter

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1979. Running time: 110 MIN.

With: Sean Connery Donald Sutherland Lesley-Anne Down Wayne Sleep Michael Elphick Alan Webb

More Film

  • Bruno GanzSwiss Film Award in Geneva,

    Bruno Ganz, 'Downfall' and 'Wings of Desire' Star, Dies at 77

    Bruno Ganz, best known for dramatizing Adolf Hitler’s final days in “Downfall,” has died. The Swiss actor was 77 years old. The cause was reportedly colon cancer. In addition to delivering one of the definitive cinematic portrayals of the Nazi leader, Ganz played an angel who gives up immortality to experience earthly pleasures in Wim [...]

  • Bruno GanzSwiss Film Award in Geneva,

    Bruno Ganz, Star of 'Downfall' and 'Wings of Desire,' Dies at 77

    Bruno Ganz, the Swiss actor whose portrayal of Adolf Hitler in 2004’s “Downfall” made him an international star, has died. He was 77. Ganz died at home in Zurich on Friday, his management told various media outlets. Ganz was a familiar figure in German-language cinema, with a career spanning nearly 60 years. In addition to [...]

  • Steve Bannon appears in The Brink

    Sundance Film Review: Stephen K. Bannon in 'The Brink'

    Stephen K. Bannon drinks Kombucha (who knew?), the fermented tea beverage for health fanatics that tastes like…well, if they ever invented a soft drink called Germs, that’s what Kombucha tastes like. In “The Brink,” Alison Klayman’s fly-on-the-wall, rise-and-fall-and-rise-of-a-white-nationalist documentary, Bannon explains that he likes Kombucha because it gives him a lift; he drinks it for [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • Oscar OScars Placeholder

    Cinematographers Praise Academy Reversal: 'We Thank You for Your Show of Respect'

    Cinematographers who fought the decision to curtail four Oscar presentations have praised the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for reversing the exclusions. “We thank you for your show of respect for the hard-working members of the film community, whose dedication and exceptional talents deserve the public recognition this reversal now allows them to enjoy,” [...]

  • Peter Parker and Miles Morales in

    'Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse' Colored Outside the Lines

    The well-worn superhero genre and one of its best-known icons are unlikely vehicles for creating a visually fresh animated feature. But Sony Pictures Animation’s work on the Oscar-nominated animated feature “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” shows throwing out the rule book and letting everyone play in the creative sandbox can pay off big. “I think we [...]

  • Denis Villeneuve

    Denis Villeneuve's 'Dune' Gets November 2020 Release Date

    Warner Bros. has scheduled Legendary’s science-fiction tentpole “Dune” for a Nov. 20, 2020, release in 3D and Imax. “Aquaman” star Jason Momoa is in negotiations to join the “Dune” reboot with Timothee Chalamet, Javier Bardem, Rebecca Ferguson, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac, and Zendaya. Production is expected to launch in the spring [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content