Three cowpokes band together with a feisty widow to recover = a cache of stolen gold. John Wayne meets Ann Margret and you'll keep = guessing who meets whose match! Year: 1973 Director: Burt Kennedy = Starring: John Wayne,... more » Ann-Margret, Rod Taylor.« less
T O'Brien | Chicago, Il United States | 05/19/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Train Robbers is a late film of the Duke's, but it is still an entertaining film. Directed by Burt Kennedy, the story follows a widow who hires Wayne to escort her to a cache of hidden gold that belongs to her recently deceased husband. Joining Wayne are a couple of old friends who come along. There are not any identifiable bad guys except for a nameless group of gunman making their own go at the gold. This is not a great John Wayne western, but it is not the worst. Still very entertaining.
What carries the movie is the excellent cast in support of John Wayne. Joining him are Ann Margaret as the widow Mrs. Lowe, Rod Taylor, Ben Johnson, and even Ricardo Montalban in a small but funny role. Taylor and Johnson are great together as Grady and Jesse, two old friends of Wayne's Lane. There's a history among the three characters which provides plenty of laughs throughout the movie. Also riding with Lane and Co. are Christopher George in a good supporting part as Calhoun, Bobby Vinton, and Jerry Gatlin. And be sure to stick around till the end for Montalban's revelation at the end. You won't be disappointed!
The DVD offers some decent features, especially since many John Wayne DVDs are bare-bones. Along with a beautiful widescreen presentation, the DVD has a trailer gallery of JW movies and two good featurettes, "The Wayne Train" made during the filming of the movie, and "Working With a Hollywood Legend" interviews with a great stuntman, Dean Smith, involving his work with Wayne. This is a good western that deserves a watch if for nothing else than the twist at the end. Very entertaining!"
lordhoot | Anchorage, Alaska USA | 05/04/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I would considered Train Robbers to be one of John Wayne's underrated western movies he have made during his post True Grit era. While its not as good as some of his earlier ones, it probably the best one he made between True Grit and the Shootist (next to Rio Lobo). The Train Robbers seem to be a throw back to John Wayne's older westerns. The story developed slowly but with a purpose as the characters get ironed out. Ann-Margaret plays widow trying to restored family honor by getting the half million dollars worth of gold back to the train company from which her husband stole it from. John Wayne and his gang tries to helped but the usual bad guys, the late husband's gang gets into the way. Its an adventure all the way.
John Wayne does his usual entertaining self but he is superbly supported by Rod Taylor and especially Ben Johnson. It was also a pleasure to watch Christopher George as well before his illness took his life prematurely. Key element of any John Wayne movie was his interactions with his co-stars and they all blended in perfectly. The humor was good and some of the one liners proves to be classic. Ann-Margaret does quite well but she sounds little phoney from the beginning and that was bit of a give away as we reached to the end of the movie. At least for me, the ending didn't surprised me as much as it did for some people.
The movie weaknesses lies in the fact that John Wayne and his gang seem to be just too goody two shoes to be true. The bad guys were just props in the movie and their job was to get shot. They don't seem to be very smart bad guys either. Making banzai charges seem to be a trademark tactics to make the good guys victorious. Bobby Vinton and Jerry Gatlin were virtually wasted in their roles. In some ways, they seem to be no more then the bad guys although they don't get shot!
The DVD version of Train Robbers seem to be well presented. I owned a regular TV so I would say from that point that the picture is clear and the sound proves to be crisp on my Dolby system. The DVD movie come in its widescreen format. I have to admit that this was the first time I saw this movie in widescreen since 1973 when it first came out. There isn't much of a special features. One feature got several former stuntmen who worked with Wayne, singing their praises of him. Second feature is a promotional job for the movie. Then you got your trailers feature. That is just about it. Pretty slim pickings if you asked me.
Overall, a pretty entertaining and enjoyable film despite of its inherited flaws. I would give it a 3.5 stars if I had a choice. John Wayne fans should be highly please with this movie. It should please most western fans and might be mildly entertaining for causal viewers.
Ann Margaret Gets What Ann Margaret Wants
John A Lee III | San Antonio, TX | 02/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I must admit that Ann Margaret has always been a favorite of mine. That probably, make that certainly, affects my judgment of this film. It is not one of John Wayne's best. I still like it. Only part of that is because I like Ann Margaret.
John Wayne plays the leader of a group of gunfighters. These are not ordinary gunfighters. They are not in it for the "glory". They just kind of drifted into it after the civil war. Now, John Wayne and his group find themselves working for a woman, Ann Margaret. She says that her dead husband once robbed a train of half a million dollars. The money was lost and she knows the location. She wants to recover it so that she can turn it in to raise the stigma from her son. She intends to pay the gunfighters with the reward money for turning in the gold.
The would-be rescuers of stolen gold have some problems. They have to track down the train and they are in turn being tracked by a lot of bad guys who want to steal the gold.
John Wayne handles the situation with his typical character. He is honest and protective of those who are with him. He has his own moral code and will not be swayed from it. He would rather do things the hard way if that means maintaining his ideals.
His biggest challenge comes from Ann Margaret. She is strong willed but sweet. Everyone likes her and wants to protect her. They are even willing to give up their share of the reward to help her. She's got them wrapped around her little finger.
Its fun and action packed but it is not his best. Still, watching Ann is lots of fun. "
THIS LADY TAKES THE CAKE
Crabby Apple Mick Lee | INDIANAPOLIS, IN USA | 04/04/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I must say that I am taken aback by the many negative comments thrown at this film. What many reviewers miss is the fact that, aside from being a Western, this is also a story in which the Duke plays opposite a strong woman. There is the constant trading off between the two as to who has the upper hand--with the Duke not realizing that just when he thinks he has put Ann-Margaret in her place she has been deceiving him toward her own purposes all along. Compared to the QUIET AMERICAN, MCLINTOCK, DONOVAN'S REEF, HATARI AND TRUE GRIT, this is one film where the Duke doesn't exactly carry the day over his female interest. Therefore, it is quite refreshing in its own way.
Unlike other reviewers, I remember this film more fondly that I do others from the 1970's--including THE SHOOTEST. In terms of a movie about cowboys for whom the times are passing by (and in Duke's terms in which Hollywood is leaving him behind), I prefer to remember the aging John Wayne this way. Even outwitted by one hell of a woman, John Wayne had more dignity about himself than the pretenders who followed. (Yes, I mean you, Kevin Costner.)
jeverr wonder | chicago | 06/08/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"i got to admit that the selling point for me was the Dominic Frontiere soundtrack. he has some good themes going here and variations of them in service too! at times the sound track carries the picture in ways the actors and screenplay can't"