6.8/10
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27 user 8 critic

The Raid (1954)

Approved | | Action, Drama, War | 4 August 1954 (USA)
Van Heflin As Maj. Neal Benton

Director:

Hugo Fregonese

Writers:

Sydney Boehm (screenplay), Francis M. Cockrell (story) (as Francis Cockrell) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Van Heflin ... Maj. Neal Benton
Anne Bancroft ... Katy Bishop
Richard Boone ... Capt. Lionel Foster
Lee Marvin ... Lt. Keating
Tommy Rettig ... Larry Bishop
Peter Graves ... Capt. Frank Dwyer
Douglas Spencer ... Rev. Lucas
Paul Cavanagh ... Col. Tucker
Will Wright ... Josiah Anderson
James Best ... Lt. Robinson
John Dierkes ... Cpl. Fred Deane
Helen Ford Helen Ford ... Delphine Coates
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bill Ash Bill Ash ... Bit (unconfirmed)
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Storyline

A group of Confederate prisoners escape to Canada and plan to rob the banks and set fire to the small town of Saint Albans in Vermont. To get the lie of the land, their leader spends a few days in the town and finds he is getting drawn into its life and especially into that of an attractive widow and her son. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The suspense thriller of the year !

Genres:

Action | Drama | War | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 August 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Ferro e Fogo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$650,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Panoramic Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie is based on a true event. The The St, Albans, Vermont Raid happened on October 19, 1864 when Twenty-one cavalrymen arrived from Canada took over St. Albans, Vermont in what was to go down in history as the northernmost engagement of the Civil War. Confederate agent George Sanders organized the event and Lieutenant Bennett Young led the raid. Young mounted the steps of a hotel and shouted: "This city is now in the possession of the Confederate States of America!"

Since 1914, there has been a Vermont Historic Marker in front of Taylor Park commemorating the event and a commemorative plaque at the entrance of what was the Franklin County Bank. It is the only one of the three banks robbed that is still standing and is still a bank. The movie changed the year and the reason the raid took place. See more »

Goofs

Sherman's March to the Sea is mentioned, though it didn't begin until November, 1864, one month after this story takes place. See more »

Connections

Referenced in What's My Line?: Richard Boone (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

When Johnny Comes Marching Home
Written by Louis Lambert
Played when the Union cavalry leave town
See more »

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User Reviews

 
With a rebel yell, I cried more more more.
20 June 2009 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

"This is a true story...it began on the night of September 26 1864, in a Union prison stockade at Plattsburgh, New York, not many miles from the Canadian border."

Tho director Hugo Fregonese's The Raid opens with the above written statement, it's not entirely accurate. Further research into what became known as "The St. Albans Raid" is required if you want the complete and unembellished story. However, The Raid is in structure and plot significantly in line with what happened back there in 1864. Lifting from the story entitled "Affair At St. Albans" by Herbert Ravenal Sass, The Raid is about seven Confederate prison escapees who infiltrate the community of St. Albans and plot a second front. As the town is gleefully praising General Sherman's march towards Savannah - and throwing auctions to sell off mementos of slain "Rebel" soldiers, the "Rebs" are fashioning bottles of "Greek Fire" with which to torch the town as they plunder the bank of all the town money.

Naturally all doesn't go to plan, as an on the edge soldier puts a spanner in the works; and the "Reb" leader, Maj. Neal Benton (aka Neal Swayze), finds a conflict of interest as his relationship with Katie Bishop and her son starts to form. All of which helps to make The Raid an engrossing picture outside of its already high interest point for being a "Confederate" movie (how many can you name about the "Rebs" winning for example?). More so when one knows that the film doesn't revert to genre formula, it threatens to, but Fregonese and his crew are not interested in serving up standard fare, with the ending a particular point of reference to ram home that opinion.

Van Heflin is excellent as Benton/Swayze, put this along side his work in other Western outings like Shane and 3:10 To Yuma, and he surely is a candidate for the genre's most undervalued actor award. Watch as he has to suppress various forms of emotion - anger as the town around him rejoices in his fellow countrymen's misfortune - affection as he gets close to the mother and son, and torn as he ultimately must abide by his war driven codes. A fine turn from a very fine actor. Anne Bancroft is suitably bright eyed and deep down strong as Katie, while Richard Boone does a nice line as the troubled, and limb absent Captain in desperate need of redemption. Lee Marvin, Claude Akins (uncredited) and Peter Graves man up the support cast, and a nod of approval is warranted for young Tommy Rettig as Larry Bishop.

Filmed on location at Iverson Ranch, Chatsworth, Los Angeles, California, I find myself once again searching for superlatives about Lucien Ballard's cinematography. This is a "gorgeous" film to look at, the Technicolor crisp in tone as the brown and orange hues of St. Albans play host to the shimmering blues of the soldiers uniforms, all of course about to be engulfed by the crackling spurts of the raiders incendiary use of "Greek Fire". I fell in love with this movie quite early on in proceedings, come the finale, I knew I just had to have it in my own collection, I can only hope that this picture finds a new audience from which to give it the love it dearly deserves. 9/10


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