View Full Version : The Great Locomotive Chase 1956

08-23-2009, 07:10 AM
I saw this Disney movie on TV back in the late 50s (it's from 1956). The DVD is pretty good quality but with no extras. My daughter and I watched it last night.

Don't rate it on the bad costumes. 1870s-80s US uniforms or the "cowboy" civilian clothes (belt loops and such) or the Confederate uniforms that only existed on paper, or the paste on sideburns and beards.

The Rail Road action is really good with real 4-4-0 engines from the Baltimore and Ohio RR collection and most stunts done for real w/o out special effects. I've been to the area of Georgia where it happened and Disney at least tried to get the geography and buildings right. (I've seen the General and Texas original engines as well.)

Jeffrey Hunter (Jesus and Capt Pike of the Enterprise) plays the Southern hero. (Buster Keaton played a take off of the same man in The General)

One item is that one actual person in the raid who was hung as a spy, William Campbell, portrayed by Jeff York, did not get the Medal Of Honor. It is claimed that he was a civilian, but others claim he was an enlisted man. He is shown as a soldier in the film.

The movie unfortunately has that "tinny" Disney music and "Tenting Tonight" which wasn't written until 1864.

Worth a look with the kids!

08-23-2009, 07:50 AM
Sounds like something to watch for fun. I love the old movies like this. So I gotta ask, where'd you buy it?

08-23-2009, 07:51 AM
I rented it on NETFLIX.

08-23-2009, 08:00 AM
Thanks for the info. I see it has good ol Dan'l Boon/Davy Crockett in it. Hot darn, I aint rentin it. I'ma gonna get me a copy of this one.

09-18-2009, 06:07 PM
Buy it, its worth it :)


09-18-2009, 08:07 PM
The General is portrayed by the William Mason from the B&O Railroad Museum. The Texas is portrayed by the Inyo from the Nevada State RR Museum, nee Paramount Pictures, nee Virgina & Truckee Railroad. The Yonah is portrayed by a cab-less engine from the B&O collection.

Disney rented several passenger cars from the B&O as well, and built specifically for this movie three CW period box cars complete with link and pin couplers.

Although the Inyo does have air brakes on it, Disney didn't allow them to be used, as CW period locomotives did not possess air brakes. Westinghouse wouldn't patent the locomotive air brake until 1872. The Inyo is not a CW period locomotive, having been built in 1875. The William Mason was actually built one year after the General, 1856 and 1855 respectively.

You will see several 4-4-0 locomotives in this movie, however, *SPOILER ALERT*: all of them are portrayed by either the Inyo or the William Mason. There were only 3 engines used in this movie.

Disney filmed on the Tallulah Falls Railroad based out of Clayton, GA. The modern W & A RR was TOO modern. Also there is no tunnel on the Tallulah Falls RR. (Movie Magic) And, sadly, there is no Tallulah Falls Railroad anymore, but it's a fun place to look for it.

There are a lot of things wrong with the movie (Bill Campbell being a soldier is one of them), however the flavor of the story is captured quite nicely and follows the actual event fairly accurately.

Great train action, too.

For another good action sequence featuring the William Mason, other than Gods and Generals, rent Wild Wild West starring Will Smith. The William Mason made this movie for me. And the Inyo portrayed Jim West's locomotive a couple of times on the original series.




09-18-2009, 11:17 PM
The General looks nothing now like it did during the chase. It's appearance now is based on how it looked in the 1870's.