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Edwin S. Porter
John R. Cumpson,
Arthur V. Johnson
A romance between a railroad engineer and the switchman's daughter is nearly ruined by train wreckers who knock out the girl and leave her on the tracks to be run over. The engineer perches on the engine's cow catcher and rescues the girl. Written by
There's plenty of action and suspense in this short melodrama, and it also has some good outdoor settings that add significantly to its effectiveness. It has more in common than it might first appear to with action-oriented movies of later years.
The story focuses on the heroine, who seems to be either the wife or daughter of the stationmaster, as she contends with the brutal activities of "The Train Wreckers." Although much of the story-telling technique is commonplace for the era, there is also a useful sequence showing her in a peaceful setting in the station house, which allows the viewer to identify with her a little before she goes out and faces danger.
The main attraction in its time was probably its use of the outdoor sets, particularly on the railroad tracks, to pretty good effect. Some of the decisions that the characters make are, on reflection, kind of strange, but then again the same could be said about many very enjoyable action or suspense movies from any era. With movies of this genre, it usually doesn't pay to analyze the plot too closely. "The Train Wreckers" is of course not one of the classics of the genre, but it is enjoyable enough if you take it for what it is.
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