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Railroad Raiders of '62 (1911)

Union raiders infiltrate Confederate territory by train.

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Cast

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Capt. Andrews
Robert G. Vignola ...
Engineer
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Anderson / Confederate officer (as Jack J. Clark)
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Federal Officer
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Storyline

The general commanding a division of the Federal Army calls for volunteers to go on a railroad raiding expedition with the Confederate lines. A number of men quickly respond and under the leadership of Capt. Andrews evade the enemy's patrol, swim a river and arrive safely in the enemy's country. At Big Shanty they capture an engine and flat car from a train crew, run out on the line a few miles and begin tearing up the track. In the meantime the train crew from whom the raiders stole the engine and car in charge of Confederate officers and another engine and car in charge of Confederate soldiers is sent in pursuit. The race for life and final capture of the fleeing Union men are graphically portrayed in this historically correct motion picture story. The survivors of the Andrews Raiders, upon whose exploit this story is based, have erected a monument to their fallen comrades, and it stands today in the National Cemetery at Chattanooga. The engine is reproduced in miniature on top of ... Written by Kalem advertisement

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Genres:

War | Drama | Short

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16 June 1911 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Version of The Great Locomotive Chase (1956) See more »

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First Version
10 February 2013 | by See all my reviews

Civil War movies were popular in the first half of the 1910s, culminating in D.W. Griffith's BIRTH OF A NATION. The fiftieth anniversary of the conflict had it on everyone's mind, there were plenty of veterans still around and this was one of Kalem's contributions to the genre. Given that the Southern audience wanted one in which the Confederates were the good guys and that the North, which had won the war, was more relaxed about such things, this story about the hijacking of a Confederate railroad and its recovery by its engineer was a natural. The incident later served as the basis of Buster Keaton's THE GENERAL -- you can recognize several of the incidents from the latter movie.

So how does this movie stack up for 1911? Not very well. I don't much care for director Sidney Olcott's work, but this one has little to recommend it; it is title heavy, has little variation in camera-work and there are long sections when people just talk to each other with no indication of what they are saying. Try pointing a few fingers, guys.

Of some interest is the fact that director Olcott, as well as future directors Robert Vignola and J.P. McGowan act in this short.


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