Wild West Chronicles: The Great Train Robbery
This episode takes an interesting look at the famous duo, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Bat Masterson, former sheriff of Dodge City, Kan., is our host and narrator. Masterson interviews Etta Place, the girlfriend of Harry Longabaugh, who was better known as the Sundance Kid. Butch Cassidy’s original name was Robert LeRoy Parker. One of the intriguing things of this episode is to learn more about the men behind the legends, including their original given names.
What became famous as the “Great Train Robbery” was the robbing of the Union Pacific train of Wilcox, Wyo., in 1899. In fact, a silent film with that title was a box office smash when released in 1903. The episode does a good job in re-creating the big event.
Etta shares that Butch and Sundance met in Colorado. Sundance was a horse rider. They eventually became the famous criminal duo, from which a movie would be released bearing their names. They also rubbed shoulders with other criminals like the famous Kid Curry, a murderer.
Etta is concerned for Sundance, telling him the boys are going to run out of luck eventually. They rob the train but a man in the cart where the safe is refuses to open the cart to let them in. They use dynamite to explode it and the man manages to survive, although having suffered hearing loss.
A posse pursues Butch and Sundance, and Sundance kisses Etta, having to flee but promising to return. Later, it’s stated that all five of the gang died and it’s believed that two men who died in a Bolivian soldier shoot-out were Butch and Sundance. Etta doesn’t believe it and tells Bat to mention in the newspaper that she will be residing in San Francisco, in case Sundance is able to find her.
The various events of the Great Train Robbery are nicely dramatized and the episode has procured our Dove seal for Ages 12+. A genuine photo of Etta Place and Sundance is shown on-screen.
The Dove Take
This nicely dramatized episode goes beyond the Great Train Robbery, and it adds a bit of romance to this historical story of two famous outlaws.