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The Great Train Robbery (1903)

A group of bandits stage a brazen train hold-up, only to find a determined posse hot on their heels.

Director:

Edwin S. Porter (uncredited)
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
A.C. Abadie A.C. Abadie ... Sheriff (uncredited)
Gilbert M. 'Broncho Billy' Anderson ... Bandit / Shot Passenger / Tenderfoot Dancer (uncredited)
George Barnes ... (uncredited)
Justus D. Barnes ... Bandit Who Fires at Camera (uncredited)
Walter Cameron Walter Cameron ... Sheriff (uncredited)
John Manus Dougherty Sr. John Manus Dougherty Sr. ... Fourth Bandit (uncredited)
Donald Gallaher ... Little Boy (uncredited)
Shadrack E. Graham Shadrack E. Graham ... Child (uncredited)
Frank Hanaway Frank Hanaway ... Bandit (uncredited)
Adam Charles Hayman Adam Charles Hayman ... Bandit (uncredited)
Morgan Jones Morgan Jones ... (uncredited)
Tom London ... Locomotive Engineer (uncredited)
Robert Milasch ... Trainman / Bandit (uncredited)
Marie Murray Marie Murray ... Dance-Hall Dancer (uncredited)
Mary Snow Mary Snow ... Little Girl (uncredited)
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Storyline

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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Action | Crime | Western

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

December 1903 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Great Train Robbery See more »

Filming Locations:

New Jersey, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$150 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

Black and White (hand-colored)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first film from the 1900's to be preserved at the National Film Registry. See more »

Goofs

When the telegraph operator revives with his hands tied behind his back, he uses one of his hands to help him stand up and then quickly puts the hand behind his back again. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood and the Stars: They Went That-a-way (1963) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Historic action/crime thriller. A must-see for all film buffs.
6 September 2000 | by Anonymous_MaxineSee all my reviews

The Great Train Robbery was filmed only a couple of years into the 20th century, and when you watch it, its age is quite obvious. However, when you watch movies like this, you need to transport yourself back to the time period in which it was created and kind of watch the film through eyes that haven't been subjected to spectacularly visual films like The Matrix or Terminator 2.

Edwin Porter made a ground-breaking film with The Great Train Robbery. Sure, the scenes were very simple and the film is so blurry that you can't make out a single face (this is also a result of the total lack of close-up shots), but in 1903 people watched this film and were stunned. It was hugely successful because it was one of the first films in the world to be made that actually told a story. Previously, films were made mainly to show off the technology of the "moving picture," and the public loved them because they had never seen such a thing before. But when Porter came along with The Great Train Robbery, the path of motion pictures changed dramatically because people began to realize that these films could tell stories just as well as they could show water lapping on the beach or factory workers getting off of work or people jumping into a lake. These were the type of films that were made in the 1890s and early 1900s. The Great Train Robbery is an extremely short film, but it is an interesting story that is made even more fascinating because of the fact that everything that happens on the screen happened nearly 100 years ago. It's like looking at a piece of history.


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