Movie of the Week: The First Great Train Robbery (1979)

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Michael Crichton directs Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland and Leslie Anne-Down in this Victorian heist caper where a top hatted trio aim to steal bullion from a moving train. 

An absolute corker of a period adventure. Chucking us right deep into the world of 19th Century crime with convincingly obscure vernacular and telling detail. Brothels, hangings, dog fights and alleyway mugging are thrillingly recreated. Anne-Down rocks about in a series of wigs and corsets. Sutherland moans gleefully and cracks his knuckles friskily as the cocksure expert screwsman. And Connery smiles ruefully through a ton of Bondian innuendo and then performs an amazing 10 minute stunt atop a moving steam engine. It is a spectacular finale that fucking quickens the pulse like very little could these days. Expert entertainment.

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