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The Great Train Robbery (1903)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 8,293 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.

Director:

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

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

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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
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 more »

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

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

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

Edited into The 20th Century: A Moving Visual History (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

It's Easy To See How It Got Its Reputation
11 April 2002 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

It's easy to see why this was such a sensation in 1903, and why today it is still considered to be an icon in movie history. You can enjoy this either as a historical landmark for its use of such a variety of then-new skills, or you can simply watch it for the story. To be sure, the plot is of a now-familiar type, but this is what so many other movies have imitated over the years.

The story-telling is very good, and it is almost not even necessary to add 'for its time', because much of it still holds up quite well. It tells an action-packed story with plenty of detail, and it uses a good variety of effective techniques to increase the excitement, suspense, and realism. From the motion effects in the scenes inside the train, to the occasional use of color tinting, to the use of outdoor scenes, almost everything works nicely. There are only a few occasions when can you tell that it is almost a century old. There are even things like some basic cross-cutting and a pretty good panning shot. There is plenty to see, and it's worth watching more than once to see what else you can notice.


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