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The Great Train Robbery
(1979)
Album Cover Art
1990 Memoir
2004 Varèse
Album 2 Cover Art
2011 Intrada
Album 3 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Arthur Morton

Performed by:
The National Symphony Orchestra
Labels Icon
LABELS & RELEASE DATES
Memoir Records (European)
(1990)

Varèse Sarabande
(September 6th, 2004)

Intrada Records
(November 28th, 2011)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
The 1990 Memoir album was a relatively rare import from Europe throughout the 1990's, though the release of the 2004 product by Varèse Sarabande reduced its cost to normal retail levels. That non-limited Varèse album is an "SACD Deluxe Edition" that was released through the label's website in 2004 before a wider, commercial distribution in January of 2005. The expanded 2011 Intrada album is also a regular commercial release.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you appreciate Jerry Goldsmith music at its most exuberant and boisterously enthusiastic, in this case comedic due to its airy atmosphere and light waltz rhythms.

Avoid it... if you find Goldsmith's breezy, overly-positive comedy music to be remotely trite, because The Great Train Robbery reminds significantly of the composer's campy fluff from the 1960's.
Review Icon
EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,589
WRITTEN 7/22/09, REVISED 12/14/11
Goldsmith
Goldsmith
The Great Train Robbery: (Jerry Goldsmith) In a diversion from his usual preoccupation with the concepts of science fiction and fantasy, writer and director Michael Crichton visited the genre of vintage crime caper with 1979's The Great Train Robbery. Crichton had published the film's story in a 1975 novel, exploring a devious plot about the efforts of two master criminals (and their beautiful accomplice, of course) to steal gold from the British government in a clever new way in 1855. Eying some gold transported by train for the first time in history, a man of high class and his keymaster associate devise a way to obtain the four keys necessary to open a safe on that moving train and steal riches headed to British troops fighting a distant war. Sean Connery and Donald Sutherland are the naughty protagonists, using any nefarious means by which to obtain wax imprints of the necessary keys, eventually culminating in high thrills aboard the train itself at the end. The atmosphere of The Great Train Robbery is relatively low-tech on screen and off (the film was made for only $6 million), but it utilized an abundance of charm to retain audience interest. A strong crew (assembled mostly in England) included veteran composer Jerry Goldsmith, a friend of Crichton and collaborator on many of the director's projects. While Goldsmith's spirited music for The Great Train Robbery maintains a healthy following, it could be argued that his general endeavors for Crichton-associated films didn't really impress until the 1990's. It's hard to deny that 1979 was a year great achievement for Goldsmith, though, and while The Great Train Robbery admirably serves its purpose, it doesn't compete on any level with his concurrent work for Alien or Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Goldsmith's music for comedies often straddles a fine line between infectious enthusiasm and obnoxious fluff, and The Great Train Robbery unfortunately strays a bit too far to the latter side. It is easily one of the composer's most optimistic and light-hearted efforts for a full ensemble, joining in the romp of the story's twists with unquestionably affable characteristics. The instrumentation is geared towards a light atmosphere, with plucked bass strings often dancing underneath high woodwinds, xylophone, violins, and occasional harpsichord. Whether you, as a Goldsmith collector, can find enough merit to appreciate in these airy tones apart from their necessary application in the film is another matter.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
152 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.15 Stars
***** 32 5 Stars
**** 35 4 Stars
*** 34 3 Stars
** 26 2 Stars
* 25 1 Stars
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
1990 Memoir Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 60:54
Wild Rovers:
• 1. Medley - Early Morning/The Wild Rover* (4:25)
• 2. Wild Horses (3:48)
• 3. Snow Country (2:04)
• 4. Old Times (4:01)
• 5. The Knife (3:39)
• 6. Bronco Bustin' (2:04)
• 7. Sleepless Night (2:59)
• 8. Saturday Night (2:28)
• 9. Medley - Final Destination/Texas Rangers** (6:04)
• 10. End Title - Wild Rovers (2:02)
The Great Train Robbery:
• 11. Main Title (2:33)
• 12. No Respectable Gentleman (2:23)
• 13. Double Wax Job (2:40)
• 14. Casing the Station (3:08)
• 15. The Gold Arrives (2:43)
• 16. Kiddie Caper (2:03)
• 17. Clues (3:53)
• 18. Rotten Row (2:40)
• 19. Torn Coat (2:23)
• 20. End Title (2:57)
* lyrics by Ernie Sheldon, performed by Ellen Smith
** traditional music arranged by Jerry Goldsmith, performed by Ellen Smith
2004 Varèse Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 36:27
2011 Intrada Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 96:40

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The inserts of all three albums include information about the score and film, the latter two products' notes especially detailed.
Copyright © 2009-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from The Great Train Robbery are Copyright © 1990, 2004, 2011, Memoir Records (European), Varèse Sarabande, Intrada Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 7/22/09 and last updated 12/14/11.
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