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The Little Train Robbery (1905)

In this parody of 1903's _Great Train Robbery, The (1903)_, also made by Edwin S. Porter, young bandits rob the passengers of a kiddie train and are chased by police officers.

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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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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1 September 1905 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

This is believed to be the first parody movie ever made. It is a loose remake of director Edwin S. Porter's previous film, The Great Train Robbery (1903), but this time, the cast is comprised entirely of children. See more »

Connections

Spoofs The Great Train Robbery (1903) See more »

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User Reviews

Kiddie Crimes
24 October 2009 | by (www.2020-movie-reviews.com) – See all my reviews

Edwin S. Porter, who also directed the groundbreaking Great Train Robbery in 1903, returns here to the same story but changes all of the villains from adults into children. It's not a bad idea (beating Alan Parker by some 70 years) and works surprisingly well, not only as a cute parody of the original film but as a tale in its own right of desperate villains breaking the law and attempting to evade capture.

The film opens with the crook's mastermind issuing instructions to the gang. We then see them riding off to the railway line where they lay a few planks over the line then lie in wait for their victims, the passengers of one of those miniature trains for kids. Having knocked out the driver - who later recovers and wanders into shot when it appears he wasn't supposed to as he looks at the camera for a moment before diving to the ground - the robbers relieve the tiny passengers of their valuables and head back to their hideout where they share out the spoils - bags of sweets. Unfortunately, they don't get much chance to sample their booty before the police appear on the scene and give chase.

Although this is quite a good film for its time it still falls far short of the kind of standards that would prevail only a few years later. Editing is confined to changing shot when the predefined action has been completed rather than to create excitement or tension, and there is no use of close or medium shots.


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