IMDb > The Iron Horse (1924)
The Iron Horse
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The Iron Horse (1924) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.3/10   1,121 votes »
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Up 18% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers:
Charles Kenyon (story) and
John Russell (story) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Iron Horse on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1925 (Germany) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
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 »
Plot:
Springfield, Illinois. Brandon, a surveyor, dreams of building a railway to the west, but Marsh, a contractor... See more » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
1 win See more »
NewsDesk:
(29 articles)
Our Daily Bread #6
 (From MUBI. 13 May 2014, 1:23 AM, PDT)

Top 10 movie westerns
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 8 November 2013, 8:21 AM, PST)

Killruddery Film Festival–A Festival with a difference
 (From TheMovieBit. 24 September 2013, 9:46 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Spanning The Continent See more (24 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

George O'Brien ... Dave Brandon

Madge Bellamy ... Miriam Marsh
Charles Edward Bull ... Lincoln
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)
Gladys Hulette ... Ruby
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Jean Arthur ... Reporter (uncredited)

Chief John Big Tree ... Cheyenne Chief (uncredited)
Danny Borzage ... Minor Role (uncredited)
George Brent ... Worker / Extra (uncredited)
Milton Brown ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Thomas Carr ... Rail Worker (uncredited)
Peggy Cartwright ... Miriam as a Girl (uncredited)
Colin Chase ... Tony - Italian Worker (uncredited)
Harvey Clark ... Dentist-Barber (uncredited)
Elmer Dewey ... Minor Role (uncredited)
John Webb Dillon ... Tall Woodsman in Prologue (uncredited)
Thomas Durant ... Jack Ganzhorn (uncredited)
Bob Fleming ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Willie Fung ... Chinaman (uncredited)
Jack Ganzhorn ... Thomas C. Durant (uncredited)
James Gordon ... David Brandon Sr (uncredited)
Ed Jones ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Tiny Jones ... Woman Who Wants a Divorce (uncredited)
Sid Jordan ... Gunfighter (uncredited)
Dick La Reno ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Delbert Mann ... Charles Crocker (uncredited)
Robert Milasch ... Hell on Wheels Bartender (uncredited)
Winston Miller ... Davy as a Boy (uncredited)
Pat Moriarity ... Rail Worker (uncredited)
Charles Newton ... Collis P. Huntington (uncredited)
Herman Nowlin ... Minor Role (uncredited)
John B. O'Brien ... Dinny (uncredited)
Charles O'Malley ... Maj. North (uncredited)
Jack Padjan ... Wild Bill Hickok (uncredited)
Edward Peil Sr. ... Old Chinese Railroad Worker (uncredited)
Jack Richardson ... Union Officer at White House (uncredited)
Vinegar Roan ... Bit Role (uncredited)
Walter Rodgers ... Gen. Dodge (uncredited)
Harold D. Schuster ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Tom Smith ... Cowhand (uncredited)
Chief White Spear ... Sioux Chief (uncredited)
Charles Stevens ... Indian (uncredited)
Frances Teague ... Polka Dot - Dance Hall Girl (uncredited)
Stanhope Wheatcroft ... John Hay (uncredited)
Leo Willis ... Gunman in Saloon (uncredited)
Chief Eagle Wing ... Indian (uncredited)
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Directed by
John Ford (uncredited)
 
Writing credits
Charles Kenyon (story) and
John Russell (story)

Charles Kenyon (scenario)

Charles Darnton (titles)

Produced by
Kevin Brownlow .... producer (1995 version)
David Gill .... producer (1995 version)
Patrick Stanbury .... executive producer (1995 version)
John Ford .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
John Lanchbery (1995)
William P. Perry (1974)
Erno Rapee (1924) (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
George Schneiderman (photography)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Edward O'Fearna .... assistant director (uncredited)
Frank Powolny .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
William S. Darling .... art department supervisor (uncredited)
Lefty Hough .... property master (uncredited)
R.L. Hough .... props (uncredited)
Herbert Plews .... assistant props (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Burnett Guffey .... additional photographer (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Nick Adams .... telecine engineer (1995 version)
Martin Gent .... on-line editor (1995 version)
Harold D. Schuster .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
John Lanchbery .... orchestrator (1974 re-release)
 
Other crew
William Fox .... presents
Karl Malkames .... restorator (1974 re-release)
Harold D. Schuster .... production assistant (uncredited)
 
Thanks
George Stephenson .... dedication: to the honour and memory of the Scottish engineer
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
150 min | 133 min (TCM print)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Sweden:15 | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
A notation on a title card states that in the final scenes of the meeting of the west and east railways, the director used the actual engines that did meet on that day.They were the Jupiter and Locomotive 116. However this was hype for the film unsupported by fact. These were not the two original engines, one of which had been dismantled for scrap years before.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: At 3:12, Brandon's arm changes position as he leans against the tree.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Golden Saddles, Silver Spurs (2000) (TV)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Spanning The Continent, 16 November 2010
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Previous to directing The Iron Horse, John Ford had been known as the director of a few dozen B westerns, most of them probably lost by now and most of them starring Harry Carey. In getting the assignment for The Iron Horse, Ford got his first really big budget to work with from Fox Films. The end result was a film which along with Paramount's The Covered Wagon became the models for the big epic westerns. And it launched a whole new career for John Ford that netted four Oscars as a Best Director, though not one of them was for a western.

The story of The Iron Horse begins here in Springfield, Illinois where the children of Will Walling a contractor and surveyor James Gordon are playing while their fathers are meeting with none other than Abraham Lincoln at that time just a state legislator. Both would like to see a transcontinental railroad and Gordon is going to make good on it by going west and surveying the best route through the Rocky Mountains. But out west the surveyor is killed by hostile Indians led by a white man with only two fingers on his right hand. But the boy hides and is missed and grows up to be frontiersman George O'Brien.

Twenty years later in the midst of the great Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln signs the legislation authorizing the building of such a railroad though the real work doesn't start until the war is over. By that time Will Walling is working on building the Union Pacific and his daughter has grown up to be Madge Bellamy. She's engaged to Cyril Chadwick another surveyor, but Chadwick has some mixed loyalties.

Those of you who saw the epic DeMille production Union Pacific will recognize from this point some of the same plot situations. No doubt Cecil B. DeMille borrowed quite a bit from The Iron Horse, but I will say DeMille wrecked his train during the Indian attack and it was a beauty. But Ford with all the extras involved could say that his was to use the cliché, a cast of thousands.

The real evil villain here just as Brian Donlevy was in Union Pacific is Fred Kohler. He's behind a lot of the scheming as he's a large landowner where the Cheyenne Indians seem to function as a personal army. Now that was a bit much to swallow. As was the fact that when the grown up George O'Brien first makes his appearance he is identified as a Pony Express rider. Everyone knows that the Pony Express was a year long phenomenon that the Civil War closed down and the telegraph and railroad put out of business permanently. But Ford was also interested in the poetry of the west rather than the facts.

Still the action of The Iron Horse holds up remarkably well today and the careers of both John Ford and George O'Brien were made with this film.

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