MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 6,340 this week

The Great Train Robbery (1903)

7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 8,670 users  
Reviews: 71 user | 31 critic

A group of bandits stage a brazen train hold-up, only to find a determined posse hot on their heels.

Director:

(uncredited)
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 19 Nov 2011
 
a list of 47 titles
created 21 Nov 2012
 
a list of 36 titles
created 03 Dec 2013
 
a list of 41 titles
created 3 months ago
 
a list of 31 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Great Train Robbery (1903)

The Great Train Robbery (1903) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Great Train Robbery.

User Polls

1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A group of people are standing in a straight line along the platform of a railway station, waiting for a train, which is seen coming at some distance. When the train stops at the platform, ... See full summary »

Directors: Auguste Lumière, Louis Lumière
Short | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Porter's sequential continuity editing links several shots to form a narrative of firemen responding to a house fire. They leave the station with their horse drawn pumper, arrive on the ... See full summary »

Directors: George S. Fleming, Edwin S. Porter
Stars: Vivian Vaughan, Arthur White, James H. White
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The Civil War divides friends and destroys families, but that's nothing compared to the anarchy in the black-ruled South after the war.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry B. Walthall
Short | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Using every known means of transportation, several savants from the Geographic Society undertake a journey through the Alps to the Sun which finishes under the sea.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Les vampires (1915)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An intrepid reporter and his loyal friend battle a bizarre secret society of criminals known as The Vampires.

Director: Louis Feuillade
Stars: Musidora, Édouard Mathé, Marcel Lévesque
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In Victorian England, a master criminal makes elaborate plans to steal a shipment of gold from a moving train.

Director: Michael Crichton
Stars: Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland, Lesley-Anne Down
Short | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A group of astronomers go on an expedition to the moon.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès, Jules-Eugène Legris, Victor André
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The story of a poor young woman, separated by prejudice from her husband and baby, is interwoven with tales of intolerance from throughout history.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Douglas Fairbanks, Spottiswoode Aitken
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A frail waif, abused by her brutal boxer father in London's seedy Limehouse District, is befriended by a sensitive Chinese immigrant with tragic consequences.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Donald Crisp
Short | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The first scene shows the chief as he explains to his followers the plan of the great train robbery. Two masked robbers enter and compel the operator to stop the approaching train. They ... See full summary »

Director: Siegmund Lubin
Stars: Emily Lubin
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A gardener is watering his flowers, when a mischievous boy sneaks up behind his back, and puts a foot on the water hose. The gardener is surprised, and looks into the nozzle to find out why... See full summary »

Director: Louis Lumière
Stars: François Clerc, Benoît Duval
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A man opens the big gates to the Lumière factory. Through the gateway and a smaller doorway beside it, workers are streaming out, turning either left or right. Most of them are women in ... See full summary »

Director: Louis Lumière
Edit

Cast

Uncredited cast:
A.C. Abadie ...
Sheriff (uncredited)
Gilbert M. 'Broncho Billy' Anderson ...
Bandit / Shot Passenger / Tenderfoot Dancer (uncredited)
George Barnes ...
(uncredited)
Justus D. Barnes ...
Walter Cameron ...
Sheriff (uncredited)
John Manus Dougherty Sr. ...
Fourth Bandit (uncredited)
...
Little Boy (uncredited)
Frank Hanaway ...
Bandit (uncredited)
Adam Charles Hayman ...
Bandit (uncredited)
Morgan Jones ...
(uncredited)
Marie Murray ...
Dance-Hall Dancer (uncredited)
Mary Snow ...
Little Girl (uncredited)
Edit

Storyline

Among the earliest existing films in American cinema - notable as the first film that presented a narrative story to tell - it depicts a group of cowboy outlaws who hold up a train and rob the passengers. They are then pursued by a Sheriff's posse. Several scenes have color included - all hand tinted. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

train | posse | hold up | sheriff | bandit | See All (58) »

Genres:

Short | Western

Certificate:

TV-G

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 December 1903 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le vol du grand rapide  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$150 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(hand-colored)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the first of over 20 screen appearances of veteran Western actor Tom London. He was cast in the role of the locomotive driver, his real life job. See more »

Goofs

After the bandits have robbed the passengers they run towards the rear of the train instead of towards the front, where their getaway locomotive is waiting. In the next shot, they are seen running towards the locomotive. See more »

Connections

Featured in Tombstone (1993) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Truly Historic Masterpiece!
24 February 2004 | by (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

I just saw "The Great Train Robbery" in its entirety for the first time and I was truly amazed. Its hard to believe that the film is over 100 years old. It was shot from a stationary camera but it employs many of the cinematic techniques that have since become commonplace such as cross-cutting, the chase, the shootout etc. VCI Entertainment has released a marvelous 100 Year Anniversary Edition of the film in two versions...a completely silent version from the print owned by the U.S. Library of Congress and a second version with added music, color tints and sound effects.

Briefly, the story (filmed in the "wilds" of New Jersey), centers on four bandits who subdue a station agent (to keep him from sending out an alarm) and then climb aboard a train when it stops to take on water. Two of the bandits proceed to the mail car, kill the agent and make off with the loot. The others take care of the engineer and his fireman. One can imagine what the early audiences must have thought when one of the bandits suddenly throws the fireman off of the train. The cutting from the live action with the bandit and the fireman to the obvious dummy was quite innovative for the time.

The bandits then line up the passengers and rob them killing one of them as he tries to escape. They then ride the engine down the tracks to their waiting horses. Meanwhile the town folk are alerted at a local hoedown and form a posse to go after the robbers. What follows is a great little chase scene and the final showdown between the good guys and the bad guys, where you know who get what's coming to them.

The closing shot of actor George Barnes emptying his six shooter at the audience is perhaps one of the most famous shots in cinematic history. One can only imagine the effect that it must have had on the early audiences. I had always thought that this shot was at the beginning of the film. Early western pioneer "Broncho" Billy Anderson plays four roles in the film including one of the bandits.

Most of the scenes are filmed in medium to long shots. You don't really see the actors faces (except for Barnes as noted). But it is still a very good film for this or any time. It tells a complete and believable story in about 12 minutes and sets the stage for the many classic silent films that were to follow.

A truly historic cinematic experience.




39 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Interior Train Moving Exterior Shots, How'd They Do It? Sproketer
When's this coming out for Blu-Ray? Hubert88
Color ac427dc
Online? broadwaygirl1989
How can I see this? getthegold1
Where in New Jersey? ctryde
Discuss The Great Train Robbery (1903) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?