Directed by Burt Kennedy, The Train Robbers is not a well-known a piece of cinema from John Wayne. Despite the film being one of the most high-quality features that he made during his lifetime. It features an ensemble cast of some of his most frequent acting friends including Ben Johnson and Rod Taylor.
The Duke stars as Lane (of no relation to his previous character in Hondo). He and his friends live in a small town in Texas where a woman, Mrs. Lowe (Ann-Margret), comes telling them that her husband was part of a gang that robbed gold from a train. She has returned to get the gold to clear her husband’s name for their son’s sake. Lane convinces her to to take him and his posse with her to collect the gold and collect an award the Railroad Commission put up for its return. However, the original gang that stole the gold is after it as well as a shadowy Pinkerton agent who is following the posses every move.
Mixed with the Duke’s raw sense of humor and stunning backdrops, this film should be remembered as one of John Wayne’s most iconic films. It is true that has some flaws, including some pacing issues in parts, but I still think it was overlooked as one of Wayne’s classics. He plays himself and the rest of the cast act off him with some excellent work.
Ann-Margret is one of the finest leading ladies to partner with the Duke. She was funny, suspicious, and beautiful as she graces the screen. I enjoyed the chemistry she had with Wayne, one of the finest in this underrated movie. Ricardo Montalban had a cameo appearance in the movie and yet he still managed to pull it off with tons of talent.
Burt Kennedy, an American hero who served in the military with distinction, made some incredible films in his times including the original version of The Killer Inside Me. He captures the story in a typical Western fashion and while the aesthetics are nothing new, they are still visually pleasing to the idea. He creates a plot twist that will rattle you, coming at the climax of the feature.
Bottom line, The Train Robbers is an underrated and overlooked feature in John Wayne’s filmography. It is fun, thrilling, and had an excellent cast to keep you entertained.
FAVORITE QUOTE: Robbing a train…
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Violence and language
Check out the trailer below:
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