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
This film was selected into the National Film Registry in 1990 for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" See more »
After the bandits have robbed the passengers they run towards the rear of the train instead of towards the front, where their getaway locomotive is waiting. In the next shot, they are seen running towards the locomotive. See more »
Arguably the first motion picture to employ the milieu of what would quickly become known as the Western genre, Edwin S. Porter's The Great Train Robbery was a smashing success with audiences (dozens of film history texts report with glee how viewers shrieked with fear and delight when a tightly-framed gunslinger pointed and fired directly at the camera) and made remarkable strides toward the establishment of longer, more narratively developed films. Porter's cutting was also among the most sophisticated to date, as multiple locations and events were suffused with a previously unseen urgency. Based on actual events, The Great Train Robbery ignited the imaginations of the scores who saw it -- making the movie one of the earliest examples of sensationalized, fictionalized screen adaptations taken from historical precedent.
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