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The Great Train Robbery (1903)

TV-G  |   |  Short, Western  |  1 December 1903 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 9,824 users  
Reviews: 74 user | 33 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)

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
A.C. Abadie ...
Sheriff (uncredited)
...
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:

 »
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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 film was originally distributed with a note saying that the famous shot of the bandit firing his gun at the camera could be placed either at the beginning or at the end of the film. All known prints put it at the end. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Connections

Featured in Project XX: The Innocent Years (1957) 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.


28 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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