Friday, December 19, 2014

The Great Train Robbery (1979)

Back to my look at 70's Sean Connery, our next subject is the 1979 heist film The Great Train Robbery.  Written and directed by Michael Crichton (who also wrote the novel), it stars Sean and Donald Sutherland as two British thieves (Pierce and Agar, respectively) who plot to steal a large amount of gold taken being used to finance the Crimean War.

Based loosely on events that occurred in 1855, the film is a dryly funny caper film with a clever heist plan, engaging comic performances from Connery and Sutherland and deft direction from Crichton who keeps things moving fairly well.

The overall production is quite effective with a great period setting, a fun Jerry Goldsmith score and some good tension towards the end as Pierce climbs around the top of the train while trying to pull off the heist.

While all this is well and good, the film really soars whenever Connery and Sutherland are on screen.  Both have a fairly decent amount of comic chemistry and in the case of Connery, we find a wonderfully deft light comic role well played by an old pro.  Sutherland has one or two nice bits too, as does Lesley-Anne Down as Pierce's mistress and accomplice.

Despite some slight pacing issues, The Great Train Robbery is a fun, entertaining romp that is a fine piece of light entertainment.  The planning of the caper is laid out quite nicely and the payoff is gleefully enjoyable.  I definitely recommend you check this one out.

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About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.