Monday, June 08, 2009

THE FIRST GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY (1979) - Michael Crichton

Imagine Ocean's Eleven set in Victorian England instead of Vegas and with top hats and walking canes instead of Armani and cell phones. That's the basic joy of this nifty little locomotive heist pic, one of the better of its kind.

Sean Connery plays an English gentleman on the make for a cache of Crimean gold traveling by train from England to the Russian front. His elaborate plan involves pickpocket Donald Sutherland and the copying of four separate keys needed to open the gold trunks from various unsuspecting noblemen, each with their own weakness for drink, gambling or the ladies. Various small cons and complications ensue as the day of the station-to-station robbery is played out in a wholly satisfying and completely gentlemanly manner.

This movie won't rock your foundations, but it's a pleasant diversion if you're a fan of Connery, Sutherland, trains or Victorian heists in general.

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