The Great Locomotive Chase (1956)

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    There are 19 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by may2.

    • The Great Locomotive Chase (1956)



      Photo with the courtesy of lasbugas

      Information from IMDb

      Plot Summary
      This is based on a true story. During the Civil War, a Union spy, Andrews,
      is asked to lead a band of Union soldiers into the South so that they could destroy the railway system.
      However, things don't go as planned when the conductor of the train that they stole is on to them
      and is doing everything he can to stop them.
      Written by rcs0411

      Full Cast
      Fess Parker ... James J. Andrews
      Jeffrey Hunter ... William A. Fuller
      Jeff York ... William Campbell
      John Lupton ... William Pittenger
      Eddie Firestone ... Robert Buffum
      Kenneth Tobey ... Anthony Murphy
      Don Megowan ... Marion A. Ross
      Claude Jarman Jr. ... Jacob Parrott
      Harry Carey Jr. ... William Bensinger
      Leonard P. Geer ... J.A. Wilson (as Lennie Geer)
      George Robotham ... William Knight
      Stan Jones ... Wilson Brown
      Marc Hamilton ... John Wollam
      John Wiley ... John M. Scott
      Slim Pickens ... Pete Bracken
      Morgan Woodward ... Alex
      W.S. Bearden ... A switchman
      Harvey Hester ... Jess McIntyre
      Robert Kent ... A switchman (as Douglas Bleckley):
      Joel Ashley ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
      Richard H. Cutting ... Union General Mitchell (uncredited)
      John Daheim ... Cox (uncredited)
      Robert Foulk ... Confederate General Ledbetter (uncredited)
      Roy Gordon ... Secretary Stanton (uncredited)
      Mitchell Kowall ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
      Hank Patterson ... Turner, Friendly Jailer (uncredited)
      John Pickard ... Confederate Lt. Fletcher (uncredited)
      Chuck Roberson ... Confederate Prison Captain (uncredited)
      Dick Sargent ... Union Soldier (uncredited)
      Dale Van Sickel ... Alonzo Martin (uncredited)

      Writing Credits
      Lawrence Edward Watkin (written by)

      Original Music
      Paul J. Smith

      Charles P. Boyle

      Filmed on the Tallulah Falls Railway which went defunct in the early 1960s.

      Debut of Morgan Woodward.

      The real General, the locomotive stolen in the movie, is on display in Kennesaw, Georgia, at the Kennesaw Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History.

      It was raining on the day of the real chase (this is simply a deviation from the source material and a fact the filmmakers were likely aware of, which is why this is not listed as a goof).

      Only thirteen pieces of equipment were actually used: two full-sized locomotives, one yard engine, three passenger cars, two iron box cars, and five wooden box cars that were built specifically to be destroyed in the film. The various pieces of equipment wore different numbers on different trains throughout the movie.

      In the film there are 16 raiders. In reality there were actually 20 raiders that participated in the raid. There had initially been 24 raiders, but two joined Confederate forces after being stopped on their journey down to Marietta, as Andrews had instructed, and two more simply overslept and missed the train. These four were not depicted in the film as well as four others who participated.

      The locomotive the plays The General in the film (Baltimore and Ohio #25 William Mason) was built around the same time as the General, and had been in service during the Civil War. This is also the same locomotive used as The Wanderer in Wild Wild West.

      William Campbell is depicted in the film as a Union soldier. In real history, Campbell was the only civilian beside Andrews to participate in the raid; his character in the film is also quite different than his real life character.

      CASTLE THUNDER: Heard when Andrews first meets his raiding party about ten minutes into the film.

      The real locomotive "Texas" is on display at the Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War Museum in Atlanta, Georgia.

      Robert E. Lee did not take command of the army of Northern Virginia until 1 June 1862; 1 1/2 months *after* the locomotive chase.

      The coaches used in the film feature a duck bill style clerestory roof. While clerestory roof coaches existed in the 1860's they would have been of the monitor style. Furthermore, the Western and Atlantic Railroad was most likely still using the older style radial roof coaches in 1862.

      The switches shown are of the point blade variety which were not used before the 1880's. Thw switches on the Western & Atlantic would have been stub switches in 1862.

      Factual errors
      Pete Bracken's train, hauled by the "Texas", was actually 21 cars long, rather than the 2 cars depicted in the film.

      A Union Army officer tells Andrews that Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard was "moving up to attack Grant at Shiloh." Beauregard was actually second-in-command before the Shiloh attack. Confederate Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston was in charge. Beaurgeard did take over after Johnston's death during the battle. Also, Shiloh was a surprise attack on Grant's Union army. Grant's target was Corinth, Miss. The Confederate's launched a surprise attack from Corinth, on Grant's army at Pittsburg Landing, in Tennessee, in what would become known as the Battle of Shiloh. Therefore, an officer talking to Andrews would have had no prior knowledge of the attack in advance.

      The engine representing the Texas is of 1870s vintage and is equipped with a Westinghouse air brake, which was not invented until 1872 and not in common use until the 1880s.

      The Yonah, in this film was portrayed by an early 1920s reproduction of an 1830s engine of the 4-2-0 wheel arrangement. The real Yonah was a 4-4-0 engine, as were the General and the Texas, and was built in 1849. Moreover, the real Yonah featured a headlight and cowcatcher, which the one in the film lacks.

      The General and Texas feature cowcatchers with vertical wooden slats rather than those with horizontal strap iron ones which the railroad used exclusively until the 1870s.

      The real General featured a three-dome configuration and ankle-rails instead of running boards during the war. The film General more closely resembles the real one's post-1890s appearance.

      William Campbell in reality was a civilian not a soldier.

      Andrews did escape the jail but was recaptured the next day.

      The confederate major told the captain that all the captured raiders would be hung. This did not happen. Six were later used in prisoner exchanges including Pittenger and Buffam. Pittenger was later promoted to sergeant and Buffam to second lieutenant.

      Revealing mistakes
      In the long shot of the Texas running in reverse toward the tunnel, it is obvious by the unnaturally quick movements of the crew that the film has been sped up.

      Memorable Quotes

      Filming Locations
      Georgia, USA
      North Carolina, USA

      Watch this Clip

      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: (New Review) Civil War Movies- The Great Locomotive Chase (1956)

      The Great Locomotive Chase is a 1956 Walt Disney Productions CinemaScope adventure film
      based on the real Great Locomotive Chase that occurred in 1862
      during the American Civil War.
      The film stars Fess Parker as James J. Andrews,
      the leader of a group of Union soldiers
      from various Ohio regiments who volunteered to go behind
      Confederate lines in civilian clothes,
      steal a Confederate train north of Atlanta, and drive it back to Union lines
      in Tennessee, tearing up railroad tracks and destroying bridges
      and telegraph lines along the way.

      Written and produced by Lawrence Edward Watkin
      and directed by Francis D. Lyon,
      the 85-minute full-color film also features
      Jeffrey Hunter, John Lupton, Kenneth Tobey,
      Don Megowan, and Slim Pickens.
      Paul J. Smith composed the score.

      Filmed in Georgia and North Carolina, along the now abandoned
      Tallulah Falls Railway,

      it was released in U.S. theaters by Buena Vista Distribution Company
      on June 8, 1956, and capitalized on Parker's growing fame as an actor
      from his portrayal of Davy Crockett.
      The film reteamed him with Jeff York (Mike Fink).

      The steam engine upon whose exploits the film is based, the "General",
      is preserved at the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History
      in Kennesaw, Georgia.
      Representing the "General" in the film is American-type steam engine
      No. 25 ("William Mason"),
      built in 1856 and preserved in operating condition at the B&O Railroad

      The final locomotive used by Conductor Fuller and the pursuers,
      the "Texas",
      has been restored and is on display at Grant Park in Atlanta,
      also home to the Cyclorama mural painting of the Battle of Atlanta.
      In the film, "Texas"
      is represented by the similar Inyo, which is now preserved in working order
      at the Nevada State Railroad Museum.

      Look out for some of Duke's big 'Pals'
      Harry Carey Jr. as William Bensinger
      Slim Pickens as Pete Bracken
      Chuck Roberson as a Confederate Prison Captain

      User Review
      An American Take on an American Story!!
      19 January 2011 | by C_Hardrick (Outside Hollywood)

      "The Great Locomotive Chase" is the true story of the most famous train chase in the American Civil War,
      headed by Andrews' Raiders.
      They were Union spies who sank deep into the south and stole a Confederate train, and headed north.
      The goal was to destroy the lines of communication for the South and their supplies.
      Ultimately though, the mission was a failure and the Union spies were captured.

      This film is told from the perspective of the Union forces and stars Fess Parker as Andrew
      and Jeffrey Hunter as the southerner who fails their mission. One of the best Fess Parker films
      to come out of the Disney Studio in the 1950's.

      The idea for the film came from Buster Keaton's silent era film, "The General (1927),"
      which he had starred in and directed.
      It is told from the perspective of the South, unlike "The Great Locomotive Chase."
      The best scene involves the burning of a train car and explosives to try to collapse a bridge.
      For a brief moment, the viewer might believe the Union spies will get away.
      This is a superb film, 9 of 10!!
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: (New Review) Civil War Movies- The Great Locomotive Chase (1956)


      The Great Locomotive Chase was based on fact as was the Buster Keatron great silent film The General perhaps a review of this film could also be reviewed.


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