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The Great Train Robbery (1903)

TV-G  |   |  Short, Western  |  1 December 1903 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 10,112 users  
Reviews: 75 user | 33 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 cast:
A.C. Abadie ...
Sheriff (uncredited)
Bandit / Shot Passenger / Tenderfoot Dancer (uncredited)
George Barnes ...
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 ...
Marie Murray ...
Dance-Hall Dancer (uncredited)
Mary Snow ...
Little Girl (uncredited)


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


Short | Western



Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 December 1903 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le vol du grand rapide  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$150 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(TCM print)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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


When the telegraph operator revives with his hands tied behind his back, he uses one of his hands to help him stand up and then quickly puts the hand behind his back again. See more »


Featured in Precious Images (1986) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Porter's innovative early film
8 May 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This film, often lauded as one of the first movies to include a linear narrative within its running time, came out of the Edison company over a hundred years ago, following their experiments in the previous decades with shorter topical pieces such as cockfighting, dancers, and other limited scenarios.

'The Great Train Robbery' is a simple enough story - a train is robbed, there is a shoot-out. The interesting scenes for me were the ones where the passengers are held at gunpoint while their valuables are collected, the shoot-out with its hand-coloured bursts of gunfire, and the famous final shot where a gun is fired directly at the audience. Not too frightening now, but back in those days this was quite an innovation.

Historically important and with a basic plot still in use today, this film holds significant interest for a wide audience (and will take less than a quarter of an hour of your time to view).

16 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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