United Artists/Zoetrope Studios/Mercury Pictures
I first saw this movie in the theatre and enjoyed it thoroughly. It never seemed to be released on DVD until recently (just google The Grey Fox 1982 and you’ll see what I mean). It can be considered a “sleeper” film — one that was released to the public, then never heard of again. Also, because my wife fell asleep watching it with me, the other evening.
Filmed in Washington State and British Columbia, the film won many awards in Canada upon its release. The train scenes occur mainly at the beginning and end of the picture (which is all we’re concerned with).
CP 3716 makes its way up Cheakamus canyon in British Columbia.
See what IMDb has to say about The Grey Fox:
This is the story of Billy Miner (played by Richard Farnsworth), a notorious stage-coach robber who is released from prison in 1901. Since there are no more stage-coaches to rob, trains are his next target.
NP 1070 comes rolling down the tracks with Billy Miner onboard.
Miner visits his sister in Washington State. Her husband is not too crazy about having him stay there. One evening Miner sees the 1903 movie “The Great Train Robbery”.
Hmmm…maybe I should do that….
The locomotive used in this scene is the Northern Pacific L-9 class 0-6-0 #1070 currently in storage on the Lake Whatcom Railway. You can read more about their operation here:
Miner prepares to board the train; Stick ’em up!
Holding the crew at bay alongside the Northern Pacific tender.
His first attempt at robbing a train fails. After dynamiting the baggage car, an armed guard inside fires back killing one of Miner’s gang. He “takes it on the lam”.
After stealing a horse, he makes his way up into Canada to escape the law.
Walking along the tracks discussing the next caper.
The locomotive used in the remaining train scenes is the Canadian Pacific N2b class 2-8-0 #3716, seasonally in operation on the Kettle Valley Railway. You can read more about their operation here:
Miner’s next heist is more successful. His gang manages to talk the baggage car door open without using the dynamite. He fills a big sack and takes off into the hills. His take is over $10,000. Miner heads to Kamloops to lay low for a while.
CP 897 (the CP 3716 in disguise); Don’t make me use this!
Miner makes off with the loot; Baggage man watches the robbers leave with a good view of car’s interior.
Much movie plot left out here. Back to the train stuff.
Miner rides alongside CP 371 (CP 3716 sans the “six”); Miner’s rustled horses scatter as the train rounds a curve.
CP 716 (yes, CP 3716 sans the “three”) is held up by Minor.
Miner and his henchmen go rob another train (the CP 716). Opening the baggage car, they discover there is nothing of value. They take off.
A group of Mounties tracks them down and hauls them in to jail. Court finds them guilty of armed robbery. Miner gets 25 years along with his accomplices.
A big crowd is on hand (complete with brass band) to see the three outlaws off on the train to prison.
There’s more, but I don’t want to spoil the ending. If you want to find out what really happened (the movie takes certain liberties with actual events), check out Miner’s story on Wiki.
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