Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Train Robbers

Yesterday, I mentioned that none of the movies I've watched recently seem to be available on DVD. It turns out that I was wrong. The Train Robbers does, in fact, seem to be available on DVD, so I can feel comfortable doing a full-length post on it.

The movie starts off in some desolate place that is apparently a town where somebody lives, since there's a hotel there, and the train does make a stop. In fact, there are two people waiting for the next train to stop, Jesse (Ben Johnson) and Ben (Bobby Vinton). The train eventually arrives, and off get Mrs. Lowe (Ann-Margret) and Lane (John Wayne). It is these two for whom the two men have been waiting, becuase Mrs. Lowe has a job for all of them.

It seems as though a few years earlier, Mrs. Lowe's husband was part of a group of 10 people who robbed a train of its Wells Fargo strongbox, with a large amount of gold in the box. Needless to say, while the robbery itself did go well, the aftermath didn't go so well, and Mr. Lowe wound up being killed. However, his murder wasn't before Lowe was able to hide the money somewhere, and Lowe told his wife about the location. Now, Mrs. Lowe wants to go get the gold and... return it to Wells Fargo so that she can claim the reward and clear her husband's name for the sake of her son! Lane and the rest of the men she's hired will get a cut of the reward.

Of course, such a scheme is not without its problems. Mr. Lowe was killed, but he was part of a group of 10 people, and not all of those 10 are dead. So when Lane and company head south into Mexico to get the location (which not even Lane knows precisely) where the gold has been hidden, the other people who were in on the robbery are bound to take an interest in getting that gold for themselves. And sure enough, every time we get a sequence of the Lane gang on their horses, it seems to be followed by the people chasing Lane and his crew. But there's also one person who seemingly stands alone, as though he may be following both groups, a man played by Ricardo Montalbán who doesn't get any speaking lines until the film's finale.

Eventually, Lane and his group get to where the gold is stashed, and the other men get there too, so there's a shootout as each group tries to get the other group's horses to run off, which would mean the other group can get away and get a good head start. But since Lane is the good guy here, we can probably guess who's going to get the money.

The Train Robbers is entertaining, if nothing new. Well, for the most part it's entertaining. If you've seen a bunch of westerns before and are a fan of John Wayne, then you'll probably enjoy this one just fine, like sitting down with an old friend. If you're the sort of person who's new to westerns, I think I'd recommend quite a few other movies first, only because there are other westerns that are notable, while The Train Robbers is more like pleasant background music. The by-the-numbers production is one of the few problems the movie has; the other one is that it has too many long scenes of the players on horseback. The Train Robbers is only about 90 minutes, and you could probably shave a good 10 minutes off fast-forwarding through all those montages, which have no dialog so you won't miss anything.

No comments: