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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Cast

Credited cast:
Shadrack E. Graham ...
Child
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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

Genres:

Short | Action | Crime | 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The final shot of a gun being fired toward the camera had a profound effect on audiences. As cinema was in its infancy, many people who saw the film thought that they were actually about to be shot. See more »

Goofs

Looking closely, you can see that every time a gun is used, it is pointed away from the person/camera. This might be regarded as a revealing mistake, but this is done for 2 reasons. The first being that film was in its early stages, so they didn't think the audience could see the tilted guns. Reason 2 being that blank cartridges for pistols weren't invented/widely used at the time, so they had to use real bullets. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Pioneer work possible birthplace of Western
30 July 1999 | by (Fargo, North Dakota) – See all my reviews

Arguably the first motion picture to employ the milieu of what would quickly become known as the Western genre, Edwin S. Porter's The Great Train Robbery was a smashing success with audiences (dozens of film history texts report with glee how viewers shrieked with fear and delight when a tightly-framed gunslinger pointed and fired directly at the camera) and made remarkable strides toward the establishment of longer, more narratively developed films. Porter's cutting was also among the most sophisticated to date, as multiple locations and events were suffused with a previously unseen urgency. Based on actual events, The Great Train Robbery ignited the imaginations of the scores who saw it -- making the movie one of the earliest examples of sensationalized, fictionalized screen adaptations taken from historical precedent.


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