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The Great Train Robbery (1903)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 7,877 users  
Reviews: 68 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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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 | bandit | posse | hold up | sheriff | 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:

The Great Train Robbery  »

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 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

After the bandits have robbed the passengers they run towards the rear of the train instead of towards the front, where their getaway locomotive is waiting. In the next shot, they are seen running towards the locomotive. See more »

Connections

Featured in Kingdom of Shadows (1998) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Film Editing Is Born
3 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's hard to assign "The Great Train Robbery" a rating, as it shouldn't really be watched as a film the way we watch films now. But from a historical perspective, it's fascinating, and is an excellent example of the use of film editing, an art form then in its infancy and now an award category recognized every year at the Oscars.

Before this movie, it wasn't customary to tell multiple story lines simultaneously, but here, various activities going on in different locations are intercut to create suspense. D.W. Griffith would use this technique much more ambitiously (and combine it with many other developing film techniques) in "The Birth of a Nation" over ten years later, but credit must be given to "Train Robbery" for blazing a trail.

Also, this is the movie famous for the shot of an outlaw shooting a gun directly at the camera. I can't imagine what effect this had on audiences at the time, who were probably diving behind their chairs for cover.

Grade: A


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