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The Great Train Robbery (1903)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 8,302 users  
Reviews: 69 user | 31 critic

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

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(uncredited)
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Title: The Great Train Robbery (1903)

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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 more »

Genres:

Short | Western

Certificate:

TV-G

Parents Guide:

 »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The earliest American film listed in '1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die', edited by Steven Jay Schneider. See more »

Goofs

When the bandits rob the train and drive away with the engine it is on the right rail-track. When they stop to proceed on horseback the train is on the left. See more »

Connections

Featured in Big Guns Talk: The Story of the Western (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Historic action/crime thriller. A must-see for all film buffs.
6 September 2000 | by (Luoyang, China) – See all my reviews

The Great Train Robbery was filmed only a couple of years into the 20th century, and when you watch it, its age is quite obvious. However, when you watch movies like this, you need to transport yourself back to the time period in which it was created and kind of watch the film through eyes that haven't been subjected to spectacularly visual films like The Matrix or Terminator 2.

Edwin Porter made a ground-breaking film with The Great Train Robbery. Sure, the scenes were very simple and the film is so blurry that you can't make out a single face (this is also a result of the total lack of close-up shots), but in 1903 people watched this film and were stunned. It was hugely successful because it was one of the first films in the world to be made that actually told a story. Previously, films were made mainly to show off the technology of the "moving picture," and the public loved them because they had never seen such a thing before. But when Porter came along with The Great Train Robbery, the path of motion pictures changed dramatically because people began to realize that these films could tell stories just as well as they could show water lapping on the beach or factory workers getting off of work or people jumping into a lake. These were the type of films that were made in the 1890s and early 1900s. The Great Train Robbery is an extremely short film, but it is an interesting story that is made even more fascinating because of the fact that everything that happens on the screen happened nearly 100 years ago. It's like looking at a piece of history.


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