Edit
The Great Train Robbery (1978) Poster

Goofs

Anachronisms 

High platforms near the train's floor level were not used in British stations until about 1870.
8 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
When looking at the mansion from the outside, you see lights coming on through the windows as a person is running from room to room in the middle of the night. These lights very rapidly come on as if someone is flipping electric switches. However the movie is set in 1855 England long before electric lights.
10 of 12 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Pierce and Agar use an electric torch in the cellar. In 1855.
9 of 11 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The climactic Connery run along the car tops would have been impossible in 1855, as he would have been seen by the necessary brakemen. The train in the film uses Westinghouse brakes but these had not yet been invented.
9 of 11 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Transparent stay up stockings, as removed by Lesley-Anne Down in the first bedroom scene, were not invented until the mid 20th century. At the time the movie was depicted hosiery was opaque and waisted, these were called nether-stocks.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
When casing Mr. Trent, Miriam's information states that his youngest son "has a tendency to sleepwalk", and an evening scene from the outside showing Trent's entire household being roused, with multiple rooms each being brightly illuminated instantly as if by a switch. In 1855, electricity was not yet in use in British households.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The second of the bridges that Pierce has to duck under is of an all-metal construction that would not have been used by 1855.
5 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
During the 'raid' on the brothel and in some other scenes, two-tone police whistles are blown. These whistles were not in use by British police forces until the 1870s. Constables in 1855 used a type of football rattle to call for assistance.
5 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In the execution scene, outside Newgate prison, there are several people in the crowd wearing modern clothes, including jeans.
5 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Two songs heard in the brothel scene, "Champagne Charlie" and ""Pretty Polly Perkins of Paddington Green", were first published in the 1860s, nearly 10 years after the events in the film.
2 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink

Continuity 

The oral counting of the 75 seconds while copying the keys at the rail station is only accurate for the first 13 seconds when the stopwatch is shown, but then it slows down. Overall, it's a total of 140 seconds.
5 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
During the robbery sequence, the telegraph line beside the track appears and disappears.
3 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
When Clean Willy escapes from jail, the shadow & sunlight on the ground change dramatically from when he first runs across the yard to when he makes it over the top of the wall.
1 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
When he reaches the top of the train and throws his jacket away: In the next shot, before the camera pans out, both cars are completely empty.
1 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink

Crew or equipment visible 

During the first conversation between Pierce and Agar, the dolly tracks are reflected in the shop windows.
3 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink

Errors in geography 

The Folkestone main line has always been double track.
4 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink

Factual errors 

If you look carefully, it's easy to see that the four keys requiring all of this work are just two pairs of duplicate keys - and, to any locksmith, it's obvious that the keys shown are for lever locks. Not only are they pretty easy to pick (even back then), the extensive waxing procedure shown to duplicate the keys wouldn't have been necessary - one side of the key is all that's needed for a copy.
13 of 14 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In one of the movie posters, modern American dollars are shown instead of pound notes, representing the loot, even though it was not paper money at all that they were after.
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
If the gold shipment was solely to pay British soldiers in Crimea, as asserted, it would have been in the form of barrels of gold coins, not gold bars as shown.
4 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink

Miscellaneous 

If the bags were filled with gold bars they would not have been so easily thrown off the train.
5 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
As the main characters relate what they've found from casing Mr. Trent, Miriam's information ends with the statement that "Altogether there are ten servants employed" (in Trent's household). Agar then picks up the narrative with the specifics: "A coachman, a gardener, a doorman, a butler, a cook, and two upstairs maids" -- his list, presumably intended to be exhaustive, gives only seven servants.
3 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
During the opening credits train scene, the engineer's hat blows off, and both he and the fireman appear to pause for a moment to consider the situation.
2 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink

Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

At c. 80 minutes the guard remarks that the run between Redhill and Ashford is the fastest part of their journey. This is perfectly correct. Although Redhill (in Surrey) is on a completely different railway line from Ashford (in Kent), the original railway to Folkestone went this way and this was the route until the South East Mainline was built, in 1868, a decade after this film was set. (And Redhill to Ashford is a very straight, flat and fast route.)
3 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink

Revealing mistakes 

During the fireworks scene at the palace, the fireworks are clearly being set off from, and are exploding, behind the palace, however the crowds are standing in front of the palace facing forward, away from the show.
4 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
When Mariam is shaving Pierce with a straight razor: She runs the razor upward along his throat, well into his beard, seemingly to no effect. She again runs the razor upward, to what appears to be the actual edge of Pierce's beard...All while working from a position that would not allow her to directly see the underside of his jaw.
1 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink

See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page


Recently Viewed