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 ringleader of a group of Union
soldiers from various Ohio regiments
who conspired to steal a Confederate
train north of Atlanta, Georgia
, and drive it to Tennessee
and the Union lines, tearing up railroad tracks and destroying bridges and telegraph lines along the way.
Directed by Francis D. Lyon, the 85-minute full-color film also features Jeffrey Hunter, Jeff York, John Lupton, and Slim Pickens. Filmed in Georgia, along the now abandonded 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.
- Fess Parker ... James J. Andrews, Union spy and ringleader
- Jeffrey Hunter ... William A. Fuller, conductor of the Confederate train
- Jeff York ... William Campbell, Union soldier ("worth 2 in a fight")
- 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 train
The film has been released on DVD several times, first by Anchor Bay Entertainment, and most recently by Disney, but these DVD's have been seldom advertised, and have not been released outside of the United States.