© 1979 Starling Films

The Great Train Robbery (1979)

This Sean Connery vehicle was directed by Michael Crichton and based on his own novel, which in turn was loosely based on a real train robbery that captured the imagination of Victorian England in 1855. Victorian life and the criminal underbelly of England were obviously meticulously researched by Crichton, who delights in adding his own details to the historical thieves who remorselessly hid behind a thin veneer of respectability. As a crime/suspense film, it is not particular shocking, and other than a few masterfully filmed sequences, it is not especially suspenseful. But there is something delightful in watching Connery and Donald Sutherland play dress up and talk in Victorian criminal slang, a light approach to the crime drama complemented by Jerry Goldsmith’s mischievous score.

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“Welcome to Hollywood, a land just off the coast of planet Earth.”
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