I Love Lucy

Season 5 Episode 5

The Great Train Robbery

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Oct 31, 1955 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
63 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Lucy gets mixed up with a jewel thief on a cross-country rail trip that marks the end of the series' Hollywood sojourn. That's not the only reason it's a bumpy ride. Another is that Lucy keeps pulling the emergency-brake cord.

Watch Full Episode

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • The Great Train Robbery

    This episode is no dount one one the funniest episodes created. It is VERY funny and will keep you laughing! This episode is so spetacular and the funniest parts to me ae the pars where sher pulls the emergancy brake. If you love funny stuff then watch this episode. It is definatly one of the BEST episodes! :)
  • A return to form.

    At times 'I Love Lucy' could become a bit repetitive, with shows about Lucy's showbusiness dreams. This one is different because it actually goes back to one of Lucille Ball's great strengths. In the forties she was known as the queen of the B-movies, and this episode feels like one of those short (sixty minutes) comedy thrillers that made up one half of a double bill.

    The story is simple: Lucy thinks she has found a criminal on the train. What follows is a series of misunderstandings in a well-crafted plot and some great sight gags. Ethel and Fred's problems with eating on a moving (or stopping) train are hilarious. The final shot is pricelesss.moreless
  • When Lucy hears that a jewel thief is on board, she assumes that it is the man in the cart next to her's...little did she know this assumption would land her in a sticky situation!moreless

    Great episode! Of course it is the same idea of most Lucy episodes--Lucy jumps to a conclusion and lands herself in a mess...but this episode was brilliantly written and quite clever! After the police inform the Ricardo's that a jewel thief is on the train, Lucy assumes that it is the man in the adjoining room (next to her's). However, this man is a jeweler, not a jewel thief. The actual jewel thief hears Lucy telling Ethel her assumption and tricks Lucy into believing that he is in the FBI and will help her catch the "thief." Yet this man, the real thief, knocks out the jeweler, steals the jewels, and takes Lucy prisoner. Finally, Lucy escapes from the thief, stops the train, and the authority's arrest the man--making Lucy the hero! Highlights: Fred & Ethel were great! Lucy constantly stopped the train by pulling on the emergency lever, and everytime they happened to be eating---they were sports for allowing food to be thrown all over them. Also, the writing was great and the train set was new and impressive!moreless
Harry Bartell

Harry Bartell

Jewel Thief

Guest Star

Lou Krugman

Lou Krugman

Mr. Estes [jewelry salesman]

Guest Star

Joseph Crehan

Joseph Crehan


Guest Star

Frank Nelson

Frank Nelson

Train Conductor

Recurring Role

Kathryn Card

Kathryn Card

Mrs. McGillicuddy

Recurring Role

Louis A. Nicoletti

Louis A. Nicoletti

Newspaper Reporter

Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • This is the eighth of Frank Nelson's (the train conductor) eleven guest appearances. Nelson plays Frddie Fillmore three times (in seasons 1 and 3), Henry the waiter and Sergeant Nelson in season 2, Dickie Davis in season 3, Ben Benjamin in season 4, customs officer later in season 5, and Ralph Ramsey in season 6.

    • J. Edgar Hoover (at the time, head of the FBI) wrote a fan letter to Lucy and Desi about this episode after it aired.

    • On the DVD, there are lost scenes where Fred and Ethel are seen walking to the dining car where they will eat. However, when they are walking, if you look out the windows, you will see that the train is moving very fast even though in the story the train isn't supposed to be moving at all.

      The DVD includes a 16mm print that hasn't been seen since 1955!

    • If you watch carefully, Lucille Ball is the only cast member who actually simulates walking on a train.

    • The train car was built on giant springs that were released when Lucy pulls the cord. Because of this, all the actors were sent to their knees due to the force of the action.

    • The first stop for the train is Riverside, California.

    • Each time Lucy pulls the emergency brake the train stops fast so everyone is thrown forward. But at one point the train stops at its normal rate which throws them a little but not as much. The goof is that when it stops at it's normal rate, they are thrown in the wrong direction, opposite from the other times.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Ricky: Why don't you mind your own business?
      Lucy: I am minding my business as a citizen.
      Ricky: That's terrible.
      Lucy: Gee, it sure is. I can't hear a thing.

    • Ricky: I have never been so embarrassed in my whole life. Everybody on the train is talking about the screwy redhead with the itchy trigger finger.

    • Conductor: Ma'am, did you stop this train by pulling that handle?
      Lucy: Well, I didn't do it by dragging my foot.

    • Ethel: Come on, Fred. Let's get out of this food and into something more comfortable.

    • Ethel: Gee, they have all the luck. Their car is right next to the diner.
      Fred: Well maybe I can get you an upper right over the stove. Then you can just let down a basket for your food.

    • Ethel: I can't believe it. I'm taking the City of Los Angeles home.
      Fred: Is that what you got in these bags?

    • Ricky: Why didn't you let the porter carry them, Fred?
      Ethel: I'll give you three guesses.
      Fred: I need the exercise. I'm building up my muscles.
      Ethel: You'd get more exercise if you try to pry open that pocket book of yours.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Frank Nelson, who played the conductor on this episode, joined the series the following year as the Ricardo's neighbor - Ralph Ramsey.

    • This episode features Sam McDaniel, brother of Oscar winner Hattie McDaniel of Gone with the Wind, making him the only African-American to ever appear on the show.