Among the earliest existing films in American cinema - notable as an early film to present a narrative story to tell - it depicts a group of cowboy outlaws who hold up a train and rob the passengers. They are then pursued by a Sheriff's posse. Several scenes have color included - all hand tinted.Written by
The film was originally distributed with a note saying that the famous shot of the bandit firing his gun at the camera could be placed either at the beginning or at the end of the film. All known prints put it at the end. See more »
Looking closely, you can see that every time a gun is used, it is pointed away from the person/camera. This might be regarded as a revealing mistake, but this is done for 2 reasons. The first being that film was in its early stages, so they didn't think the audience could see the tilted guns. Reason 2 being that blank cartridges for pistols weren't invented/widely used at the time, so they had to use real bullets. See more »
This film, often lauded as one of the first movies to include a linear narrative within its running time, came out of the Edison company over a hundred years ago, following their experiments in the previous decades with shorter topical pieces such as cockfighting, dancers, and other limited scenarios.
'The Great Train Robbery' is a simple enough story - a train is robbed, there is a shoot-out. The interesting scenes for me were the ones where the passengers are held at gunpoint while their valuables are collected, the shoot-out with its hand-coloured bursts of gunfire, and the famous final shot where a gun is fired directly at the audience. Not too frightening now, but back in those days this was quite an innovation.
Historically important and with a basic plot still in use today, this film holds significant interest for a wide audience (and will take less than a quarter of an hour of your time to view).
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