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4.4 out of 5 stars40
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Despite its low reputation, Burt Kennedy's The Train Robbers has quite a bit going for it even if the end result is a pretty average oater best seen in a double-bill with a better film. John Wayne and old friends Rod Taylor and Ben Johnson (who, true to the formula in later Wayne pictures, handles all the dialogue filling in the Duke's backstory to make sure the audience knows what a great guy he is behind the bluster) team up to help widow Ann-Margret find the quarter of a million in gold her late husband stole so she can turn it in for the reward with a clear conscience. Naturally hubby's former partners in crime and a few more anonymous bad `uns they've recruited in the intervening years have plans of their own and are in hot pursuit.

For the two-thirds the plot can roughly be summed up as: Wayne and company ride at a leisurely pace while a band of band men gallop after them without catching up for the best part of an hour of screentime while Ricardo Montalban's silent stranger watches from a distance while smoking a cigar. Thankfully there's some good dialogue along the way that has fun playing with Wayne's many catchphrases while acknowledging the Duke is too old to play the romantic lead ("I've got a saddle older than you, Mrs Lowe"). Along the way we learn that Rod Taylor can't master an American accent, Ann Margret can't play drunk, Dominic Frontiere's busy score can't really get a grip on the film and can surmise that Bobby Vinton managed to annoy someone high up on the film from the way he's literally pretty much sidelined throughout the film - because he's often placed at the extreme edge of the frame and rarely does anything, he was almost completely cut out of Warner Home Video's old fullframe video transfer.

The action's decent when it comes in the last half hour and the wrecked train set among the desert sand dunes is a particularly memorable location, but its greatest asset is William Clothier's superb scope photography which ensures it's certainly one of the best looking Westerns of the 70s - the opening sequence of Ben Johnson waiting in a ghost town for a train amid swirling dust may not have the payoff of Once Upon a Time in the West, but it's a great scene setter the film doesn't have much chance of living up to. Still, as Taylor says, "It's something to do" even if it is more two-and-a-half stars than three.

Warner Home Video's US NTSC DVD has a fine 2.35:1 widescreen transfer with a few decent extras - a vintage making of featurette, a newer featurette on working with Wayne, original theatrical trailer and trailers for Tall in the Saddle, Fort Apache, Blood Alley, The Sea Chase, Cahill - U.S. Marshal and McQ.
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on 15 July 2009
Nicely reviewed above, just to add that the region 1 disc has 2 featurettes one is the original release featurette from 1973 and runs for 4mins the other is a nice 10min talk with some of the dukes stuntmen and crew members fondly recalling "working with a legend".Also a 18min trailer gallery that is on most of these "JOHN WAYNE COLLECTION" dvds.
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'Mrs Lowe' (Ann Margaret) hires gunman 'Lane' (John Wayne) to help her recover $500,000 worth of gold, she claims
her husband had told her of it's location before he died, she is the only one that knows where it had been hidden.
She says her husband had taken part in a train robbery some years ago, he and two others had hidden the gold, but
only he had returned.
'Lane' has two comrades from the civil war waiting for him in 'Liberty' Texas, 'Grady' (Rod Taylor) and 'Jesse' (Ben Johnson)
along with three others they'd roped in for the job, their reward would be a share of $50,000 if successful
The seven set out from 'Liberty' to recover the gold, trouble is, there were 7 others involved in the train-robbery that have a
vested interest in collecting their share, they ride with 13 gunman and are following, it's a 5-day ride.
But, who is the lone rider played by 'Ricardo Montalban' who is never very far away on the trail ?
'Lane' and his are in for a fight if they are to get 'Mrs Lowe' and the gold safely back to civilisation, the odds are against them
will they all live long enough to enjoy the rewards ?
Must admit, i thought i'd seen all the 'John Wayne' westerns filmed in colour....this is the first time i've seen this one, noticed
it on the Amazon U.S site, this the first time the film has become available on the Blu-ray format.
This is an enjoyable 'John Wayne' western that includes several fire-fight sequences, well worth a viewing......
Though a little grainy at times the picture quality is pretty good overall.
Also among the cast, Pop-Star 'Bobby Vinton' as 'Ben Young' and 'Christopher George' as 'Calhoun'
Featurettes -
* John Wayne - Working with a Western Legend and The Wayne Train
* Theatrical Trailer
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The ravishing widow Mrs. Lowe (Ann Margaret) has just one wish: she wants the gold her late husband stole to be recovered and returned to its rightful owner, restoring her family`s good name. The only problem is, she lacks the grit and guns needed to get it back. Lane (John Wayne) is a lightning fast gunman who doesn’t sell himself short. When Mrs. Lowe cajoles him to help hunt down the stolen gold, he accepts, thinking it will be an easy day out in the Mexican country.

The treasure hunt turns out to be more dangerous than they planned, however, when they encounter the villainous Pinkerton Man (Ricardo Montalban) and his horde of Mexican outlaws. As Lane and Mrs. Lowe search for the stolen booty and evade Pinkerton and his thugs, they develop a curious affection for one another and realize that love is more precious than gold
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on 25 December 2008
Three civil war veterans team up with a train robber's widow to recover a cool half-million in hidden gold. The widow (Ann Margaret) knows where the gold is burried. It turns out that it is in the belly of the train engine burried now in the sand. Three friends (John Wayne, Rod Taylor and Ben Johnson) agree to take her and collect $50,000 reward. They take Christopher George, Bobby Vinton and Jerry Galtin as helpers.
But the dead man's ex-partners also want this gold and will kill to get it. The caravan heads towards the dunes and the gang of robbers follow them. After arriving at the disabled train, the gold is taken out, but the gang surround them watched by Ricardo Montalban. After a shoot out, the gang retreat back to town and the caravan follows them.
Michael Wayne produces and Burt Kennedy directs this interesting beautifully photographed western in super-widescreen. The back ground music by Dominic Frontiere is also nice.The talk between John Wayne, Rod taylor and Ben Johnson is also funny at times. Will the caravan survive? Will the gang get their gold?
Watch and ENJOY. (ENGLAND. UK)
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 8 July 2013
To say things straight, this film is not a full success - but I do not regret that I bought and watched it. Below, more of my impressions, with some SPOILERS.

Some twenty years after the War Between The States, a certain Ms. Lowe (gorgeous Ann-Margret), a young and very attractive widow, contacts Lane (John Wayne), an aging former Union cavalry officer, to help her with an unusual endeavour. Ms. Lowe reveals that her late husband was, sadly, a bandit and he once attacked a government train and stole half a million USD in gold coins! It seems that this loot was essentialy not spend but hidden, in a particularly remote and unfriendly location in northern Mexico - and Ms. Lowe knows precisely where! She wants to get this gold and return it - and she is ready to share with Lane and his men the finder fee (10%) offered by the US government. But she warns Lane, that she is not the only one to be after the gold - former associates of her husband are relentlessly following her and if finding this gold offers no difficulties, surviving to claim the reward can be a different matter altogether...

What follows is an easy, mostly relaxing, rather pleasant to watch western, not very good but not very bad either, with a big voyage, lots of camping, black coffee and beef jerky with beans meals, occasional gun fights, some campfires stories and a John Wayne who willingly concedes that both his character and himself are getting old and romancing beautiful young widows is a little behind both of them ("I have a saddle older than you Ms. Lowe"). This moment carries even more weight once we remember that exactly 20 years earlier, in another western (it was "Hondo") John Wayne's character met another young beautiful widow named Ms. Lowe - but in those times she soon ended in his bed...

Once we arrive to the northern Mexico desert, some pretty original and quite nice elements borrowed from both "new wave" and "spaghetti" westerns show that this film was clearly made in 1973, a time very different from the one in which John Wayne was the greatest star in Hollywood. As most of Lane's men are his old comrades in arms from times of Civil War, this film is also quite nostalgic... Also, dialogs are honest, with an occasional good one-liner.

Amongst the weak elements in this film are the "bad guys" - sorry for the SPOILER here, but you should not expect much from them - there is nothing interesting about them and they are really perfectly expendable pathetic gun fodder...

As it was already stated, this is a relaxing and not very original watch - but things change radically in the last 5 minutes... I will certainly not reveal anything about those last 5 minutes, but believe me, even if by moments you can think that this film is too slow and sometimes disappointing, it is still worth to wait until the end, because there you may have both a big surprise (I did not see it coming at all) and a HUGE laugh...)))

Bottom line, this is a kind of 3,5 stars film, recommended mostly for the most devoted Duke's fans or western maniacs (I plead guilty on both counts), who are ready to go to great lengths just to hear John Wayne say "If anyone tries to cross that river before we're out of sight - baptize'em!". Other viewers may be somehow disappointed.
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on 31 March 2012
At first I have to say that I am a John Wayne admirer. He is a great actor and has much charisma. Many give Rio Lobo and many other later Wayne westerns low ratings, but I liked them all. Except this one. It is just riding and riding and not much else. Brian Garfield said it well: it is "sloppy sophomoric loser" it has "cynical surprise ending". Have we really seen the same film? How many stars should be given to Comancheros, Hondo and Bio Bravo, if this gets five stars? I want John Wayne to be a real hero, which he is not in this film.
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on 31 January 2016
Big John Wayne is back in what he did best starring in his second western he made in 1973. Co starring Ben Johnson. Rod Taylor. Ann Margaret. Wayne and co are hired by a widow played by Ann Margaret to find gold that her late husband had been involved in. The only trouble is there is quite a few others who want to get their hands on the gold as well. PQ is great in 2.35. 1080p.
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on 22 February 2015
So pleased with DVD after trying to buy it for so long. Excellent service thank you
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on 17 August 2015
delivered on time no problems with this order.
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