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The Iron Horse (1924)

Passed  -  Western  -  1925 (Germany)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,191 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 30 critic

Springfield, Illinois. Brandon, a surveyor, dreams of building a railway to the west, but Marsh, a contractor, is sceptical. Abraham Lincoln looks on as their children, Davy Brandon and ... See full summary »

Director:

(uncredited)

Writers:

(story), (story), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Iron Horse (1924)

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Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Charles Edward Bull ...
Cyril Chadwick ...
Jesson
Will Walling ...
Thomas Marsh
Francis Powers ...
Sergeant Slattery
J. Farrell MacDonald ...
Corporal Casey (as J. Farrell Macdonald)
Jim Welch ...
Private Mackay (as James Welch)
George Waggner ...
Buffalo Bill (as George Wagner)
Fred Kohler ...
Bauman
James A. Marcus ...
Judge Haller (as James Marcus)
...
Ruby
Edit

Storyline

Springfield, Illinois. Brandon, a surveyor, dreams of building a railway to the west, but Marsh, a contractor, is sceptical. Abraham Lincoln looks on as their children, Davy Brandon and Miriam Marsh, play together. Brandon sets off with Davy to survey a route. They discover a new pass which will shave 200 miles off the expected distance, but they are set upon by a party of Cheyenne. One of them, a white renegade with only two fingers on his right hand, kills Brandon and scalps him. Davy buries his father... Years pass. It is 1862 and Lincoln signs the bill authorizing construction of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railways. Marsh is principal contractor and Miriam is engaged to Jesson, the chief engineer... Crews of Chinese, Italians, and Irish work to build the railway while resisting Indian attack. When the pay train is delayed by Indian ambush, the Italians go on strike. Miriam persuades them to return to work... Marsh needs to find a shortcut through the Black Hills. To ... Written by David Steele

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE WEDDING OF THE RAILS! ONE OF AMERICA'S MOST THRILLING HISTORICAL DEEDS--THE DRIVING OF THE LAST SPIKE FOR THE TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILROAD (original ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1925 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Iron Trail  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the opening night film for the 15th San Francisco Silent Film Festival in 2010. See more »

Goofs

The locomotives and rolling stock are using knuckle-type couplers which did not begin wide use until the 1890's. In the 1860's era setting of this movie, the couplers in use would have been link and pin. This anachronism is understandable as the safety issue would have prohibited the use of the era appropriate link and pin couplers. See more »

Connections

Edited into The Negro Soldier (1944) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Rated 10 for technical accuracy in railroading history
28 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Having at one time been the Southern Pacific Trainmaster for the territory of the eastern half of the predecessor Central Pacific, I have done extensive research on the old CPRR, between Montello NV and Lovelock NV.

Although not a "railfan" nor a "steam fan", I am an amateur historian.

John Ford's work in "The Iron Horse" was absolutely brilliant. He brought to the screen the real feeling of genuineness with the way the original "Chinaman's railroad" (as many local historians called it) was constructed, to the screen with absolute realism.

My father and his brother were working for Universal at the time this was made.

I'm a real fan of John Ford, and would rank this among his "most technically correct" film accomplishments, and I know that he always strove for realism.

Walter J Gould


14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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