The Great Locomotive Chase

Last Updated on: June 26th, 2024

The Great Locomotive Chase (1956 Movie)

“The Great Locomotive Chase” is a 1956 American historical adventure film produced by Walt Disney Productions. Directed by Francis D. Lyon, the film is based on the true events of the Great Locomotive Chase during the American Civil War.

The story is set in April 1862, during the height of the Civil War. James J. Andrews (played by Fess Parker), a civilian spy for the Union Army, hatches a daring plan to disrupt Confederate supply lines by stealing a Confederate locomotive named “The General” and taking it north to destroy railroad tracks and bridges.

Andrews recruits a group of volunteers, including a Union officer named William A. Fuller (played by Jeffrey Hunter), who is initially unaware of the true intentions of the mission. The group manages to board the train and successfully steals “The General” from the Confederate forces.

As they head northward, their plan faces several challenges and obstacles, including engine breakdowns and the pursuit of Confederate forces led by Conductor Anthony Murphy (played by Kenneth Tobey).

“The Great Locomotive Chase” showcases the daring and audacious acts of both Union and Confederate forces during the Civil War and highlights the bravery and ingenuity of the men involved in the mission.

The film received positive reviews upon its release, praising its action sequences, historical accuracy, and performances by the cast. Fess Parker’s portrayal of James J. Andrews was particularly acclaimed for his charismatic and heroic performance.

“The Great Locomotive Chase” is an engaging and thrilling adventure that captures the spirit of the Civil War era and celebrates the bravery and determination of those who risked their lives for their beliefs and causes.

While it is not as well-known as some of Disney’s other films, “The Great Locomotive Chase” remains a notable entry in the studio’s filmography, preserving an important part of American history and showcasing the bravery of both sides during a turbulent period in the nation’s past.

Additional Details

  • Movie Studio:
  • Year Released:
  • Type of Movie: Live-Action
  • Box Office: $1.7 million
  • IMDB Link


  • Fess Parker: James J. Andrews
  • Jeffrey Hunter: William A. Fuller
  • Jeff York: William Campbell
  • John Lupton: Cpl. William Pittenger
  • Eddie Firestone: Robert Buffum
  • Kenneth Tobey: Anthony Murphy
  • Don Megowan: Marion A. Ross
  • Claude Jarman, Jr.: Jacob Parrott
  • Harry Carey, Jr.: William Bensinger
  • Leonard P. Geer: James A. Wilson
  • George Robotham: William Knight
  • Stan Jones: Wilson W. Brown
  • Marc Hamilton: John Wollam
  • John Wiley: John M. Scott
  • Slim Pickens: Pete Bracken
  • Morgan Woodward: Alex
  • W.S. Bearden: Switchman
  • Harvey Hester: Jess McIntyre


  • Director: Francis Lyon
  • Producer: Lawrence Watkin and Walt Disney
  • Writer: Lawrence Watkin
  • Music: Paul Smith

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and