Civil War Wiki
The Great Locomotive Chase
Directed by Francis D. Lyon
Produced by Lawrence Edward Watkin
Written by Lawrence Edward Watkin
Starring Fess Parker
Music by Paul J. Smith
Studio Disney
Release date(s) June 8, 1956 (1956-06-08)
Running time 85 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Great Locomotive Chase is a 1956 Disney film based on the real Great Locomotive Chase that occurred in 1862 during the American Civil War. The movie stars Fess Parker as James J. Andrews, the leader of a group of Union soldiers from various Ohio regiments who volunteered to go behind Confederate lines in civilian clothes, steal a Confederate train north of Atlanta, Georgia, and drive it back to Union lines in Tennessee, tearing up railroad tracks and destroying bridges and telegraph lines along the way.

Written and produced by Lawrence Edward Watkin and directed by Francis D. Lyon, the 85-minute full-color film also features Jeffrey Hunter, Jeff York, John Lupton, and Slim Pickens. Paul J. Smith composed the score. Filmed in Georgia and North Carolina, along the now abandoned Talullah Falls Railway, it was released in U.S. theaters on June 8, 1956, and capitalized on Parker's growing fame as an actor from his portrayal of Davy Crockett.

The steam engine upon which the film is based ("The General") is preserved at the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw, Georgia. Representing the locomotive in the film is American-type steam engine #25 ("William Mason"), built in 1856 and preserved in operating condition at the B&O Railroad Museum. [1]


  • Fess Parker ... James J. Andrews, Union spy and leader of the volunteers
  • Jeffrey Hunter ... William A. Fuller, conductor of the Confederate train
  • Jeff York ... William Campbell, Union soldier ("worth 2 in a fight"){actually Campbell was a civilian volunteer}
  • John Lupton ... William Pittenger, Union soldier
  • Eddie Firestone ... Robert Buffum, Union soldier
  • Kenneth Tobey ... Anthony Murphy, Confederate engineer
  • Don Megowan ... Marion A. Ross, Union soldier
  • Claude Jarman, Jr. ... Jacob Parrott, Union soldier, first Medal of Honor recipient
  • Harry Carey, Jr. ... William Bensinger, Union soldier
  • Leonard P. Geer ... James A. Wilson (as Lennie Geer), Union soldier
  • George Robotham ... William Knight, Union civilian train engineer/fireman
  • Stan Jones ... Wilson Brown, Union civilian train engineer/fireman
  • Marc Hamilton ... John Wollam, Union soldier
  • John Wiley ... John M. Scott, Union soldier
  • Slim Pickens ... Pete Bracken
  • Morgan Woodward ... Unnamed Confederate soldier on troop train
  • Dick Sargent ... Unnamed Union soldier


The film has been released on DVD several times, first by Anchor Bay Entertainment, and most recently by Disney, but these DVDs have been seldom advertised, as well as being rather "bare bone" releases (not having any bonus material, etc.), and have not been released outside of the United States.


External links[]

fr:L'Infernale Poursuite ru:Крутой маршрут (фильм, 1956)