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Great Locomotive Chase [VHS]
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Product Description

Disney's Great Locomotive Chase relates a true Civil War story about the Andrews Raiders, a team of 22 Union spies. In 1862 they snatched a train out from under the normally watchful eyes of Confederate troops based near Atlanta in a daredevil attempt to wreck the track and bridges of the Western & Atlantic Railroad. It was a high-stakes operation with a huge payoff. If they succeeded, they would effectively win the war; if they were caught, they were sure to be hanged. This 1956 feature shores up the suspense of the scheme masterfully. We watch, transfixed, as the relentless Confederate train conductor, William Fuller (played by the all-business Jeffrey Hunter) roars through a bevy of Southern stations hot on the heels of his hijacked locomotive. Will James Andrews (Fess Parker), leader of the Raiders, outrun him? History buffs won't need to keep watching for long, but they'll want to anyway--the portrayal of the Raiders' gumption and against-all-odds heroics pushes the basest, most human of audience buttons. It's not that The Great Locomotive Chase is a simple but well-done film about good vs. evil. Instead, it explores both sides' motives and draws gentle conclusions about honor, and it does so at an invigoratingly high clip. In that way, it's a movie worth sharing with kids 8 and older--there's no blood and only a sprinkling of violence here, but as with all war stories, tragedy plays a prominent role. --Tammy La Gorce

Customer Reviews:

  • One of My All Time Favorites
    "The Great Locomotive Chase" was one of my favorite movies when I was little, and it still is today. This movie is about a true story about the event in the Civil War. If it weren't for Disney's movie, I would not know about The Great Locomotive Chase. Information is hard to find. That is why this movie is so great, for in almost all phases, it is accurate.
    The actors so a great job too. Fess Parker and Jeffrey Hunter do wonderful portrayals, but so do all the actors in this movie. The chase scenes are also wonderfully done as the character William Fuller goes from foot, to a pushcar, and through three engines in pursuit of the Yankee spies. Of course there is more than just the chase. The movie gives viewers the background, the planning, the chase, the Yankees escpae from prison, and of course the survivors being rewarded. A great moment in the movie (whether it really happened or not) is when Andrews and Fuller shake hands at the end; it is great scene.
    I would recommed this for anybody whether they enjoy the history or the action....more info
  • Deserves to be remade
    This is a half-forgotten Disney film concerning the attempted sabotage of the southern railroads durning the American Civil War. It follows the story of one of the characters who participated in the event. I've heard that the actual engines were used in the making of the film, as well as the actual railroad. The acting is a little forced sometimes, and some of the guys seemed uncomfortable with their lines at times. I think this movie could stand a remake, for it is a good story. Just be sure to stick to the facts, like Disney did....more info
  • A great locomotive chase plus a daring prison break
    The story of Andrew's Raiders and their adventures during the Civil War had served as the basis for Buster Keaton's classic silent comedy "The General." In 1956 Walt Disney produced a more serious and more historically accurate account with the studio's new star Fess Parker as James J. Andrews. A Union spy, Andrews puts together a group of volunteers who will pretend they are on their way to join the Confederate army, board a passenger train, and steal it. However, once they succeed in stealing a train they have to put up with its conductor, William A. Fuller (Jeffrey Hunter), who pursues them so relentlessly that you end up forgetting he is not the hero of this particular story. Despite all the obstacles they through as their pursuer, such as uncoupling a car to send rolling back at the other train and burning another car in the middle of a bridge, Andrews and his men are finally forced to abandon the train. However, they are all captured and now have to plot a daring escape from the Confederate stockade.

    "The Great Locomotive Chase," directed by Francis D. Lyon, was filmed in beautiful county in northern Georgia on tracks that paralleled the actual route taken by the Andrews Raiders. You want to make sure you pick up the widescreen version that reflects the original CinemaScope proportions becuse there are several shots that take full advantage of the larger dimensions. What is most impressive about Lawrence E. Watkin's screenplay is not just the lengthy chase sequence but the fact that the Confederate conductor comes across as much of a hero as the Andrews himself. Whether you are an enthusiast of trains and/or a Civil War buff, this is an enjoyable film. Get a hold of "The General" and do a double-feature!...more info

  • Great History
    Classic Disney movie, mostly upbeat seems a liuttle one sided. Civil war Medal of Honor recipients...more info
  • Great Movie! But Disney isn't storing their film well, or something...
    As for the movie itself, I think is is one of the best that Walt did...

    Considering that it was filmed on the old T.F.R.R., in my backyard, it was and will always be a masterpiece in my heart. So, I suppose I'm biased in that respect, and because I'm a railroad buff.

    I agree that the Disney company did an injustice to this film that I am certain Walt spent many a day contemplating.

    There is NO WAY that a movie like this will ever, or could ever be done again! The B&O railroad museum wouldn't loan out locomotives, there are no places left in the south that look remotely like this that aren't "modernized," (The T.F.R.R. was taken up only a few years after this was made) and the Federal Railroad Administration would have a field day with all the things that could possibly be "unsafe" from the old style journal boxes on the boxcars that aren't allowed anymore, and I could go on...

    This movie is brilliant- too bad that they stored the film in what I would think to be an outside shed! ...more info
  • April 12,1862.
    Fess Parker ("Davy Crockett:King of The Wild Frontier"/1956)stars as James J.Andrews,leader of the Union spies,who steal a train in broad daylight,from Confederate troops.Jeffrey Hunter (who is probably best remembered for his role as Jesus Christ,in "King of Kings"/1961), plays William A.Fuller,a brave Rebel,and a Patriot. The Great Locomotive Chase perfectly captures the essence of it's subject,in script,performance,and good Cinematography.Many memorable scenes,including the inevitable Locomotive Chases,an Empty box car sent down the track (on fire) by James Andrews,in order to crash into the approaching Locomotive,carrying William Fuller,amongst others,the actual run up to,and theft.And then the ending,inevitable for anyone who knows their History,never-the-less,an exciting one.About the Transfer of this film to DVD:Anchor Bay have done a very good job!Now this film can be seen properly,the Cinematography looks superb,justified by just the right amount of colour depth,and contrast inparticular,spot-on.Original Aspect Ratio,2.35:1,Sharp,detailed,and only a handful of scenes that show even slight traces of dirt.4.5/5. The Sound quality of this DVD:Considering the age of the material,i expected the sound on this DVD to be somewhat inferior.Again,as with the picture quality,i was very surprised,it is very clear,especially the speech.No hissing,or distortion related problems,but on rare occasion i did hear a slight glitch in the form of a popping noise,on i think,a reel change.Overall,for the sound:3.5/5. So,as a DVD,The Great Locomotive Chase,has been given very good treatment by anchor bay,having now seen this film in it's original theatrical aspect ratio,so clearly,was almost like watching it the first time,again.A great film,that keeps you hanging on,right until the end.My only real complaint to Anchor bay would be:Where are the additional materials?!...more info
  • Good Historical Account
    This was a good film. However, it's a little dated. We recently visited Kennisaw, Georgia, the home of "The General". The General is one of the locomotives involved in the chase. If it were not for that visit to the museum, I would not have followed this movie. A lot of scenes in the movie assumed you had prior knowledge of the circumstances. The kids were somewhat interested, I had to keep reminding them about what we saw in Georgia....more info