Seven or eight fellows are sitting around when their boss, a gal, tells them to put on their masks; she brings in a blindfolded man and sends the boys out to do a job. They borrow horses, block a train track, and set up an ambush. They knock out the engineer and rob each passenger, all of whom are dressed in white. The gang escapes in the first car of the train, then they remount their horses and scramble through forest and across a creek. Police pursue on foot. Back at the hideout, the gang split the swag and run from the cops. The gang tries swimming to safety, but the cops have a rowboat. Will any escape? Written by
The little train carrying the children appears to have the words "Olympia Park RR" written on its side, which might or might not be an indication of where it was, at least partially, filmed. See more »
Edwin S. Porter made one of the most important early films "The Great Train Robbery". Some have referred to it as the first full-length film, though Georges Méliès made his "Voyage Dans Le Lune" the same year and a couple other films also claim to be the first. Regardless, it was a huge milestone in film history and was the first great American western. So, it's not at all surprising that Porter would seek to capitalize on this success--though I am surprised it took him two full years to get to "The Little Train Robbery".
"The Little Train Robbery" is a parody of his previous film--and it IS unusual for a person to parody their own work. In this case, you have a similar plot but it's acted by kids. And, as they are kids, they ride ponies and the train is an amusement park type they'd have for the young kids. It's a clever idea BUT it's also an idea that runs thin--even when full-length meant 10-20 minutes as it did in 1905. In many ways, it's a lot like the much later (and dreadfully awful) "The Terror of Tiny Town"--the first all-midget western! So is it worth your time? Not especially. But, if you love early films and have already seen "The Great Train Robbery", it's worth a look.
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