Great Train Robbery, The

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"It electrified dad! It terrified mother! It will amuse you!"
  • TV-G
  • 1903
  • 1 hr
  • 7.3  (20,590)

The Great Train Robbery is a silent movie made in 1903 and is often considered as one of the earliest narrative films in cinematic history. Directed by Edwin S. Porter, the movie stars Gilbert M. 'Broncho Billy' Anderson, A.C. Abadie, and George Barnes. The film is a dramatization of an actual robbery that took place in 1900 on a train from Monroe to Northfield in Jackson County, Missouri. The movie depicts a group of robbers who hold up a train and steal large amounts of money from the passengers.

The movie begins with the robbers sitting on horseback outside a telegraph office, waiting for a message that will tell them when the train is approaching. They then proceed to the station and board the train, where they successfully hijack the engine and the money. The robbers then engage in a series of daring chases and gunfights as they attempt to evade the authorities and make their escape.

One of the most notable aspects of The Great Train Robbery is the way it employs innovative techniques that were uncommon for its time. The film makes use of cross-cutting between different locations, which is a technique that is widely used in modern cinema but was revolutionary in 1903. Additionally, the movie's use of close-ups and tracking shots was also unique for its time and helped to establish Edwin S. Porter as one of the pioneering directors of early cinema.

The film was hailed as a commercial success and helped to establish moving pictures as a form of entertainment that was capable of attracting large audiences. In fact, many credit The Great Train Robbery with heralding the rise of cinema as we know it today. Its appeal was due in part to its thrilling action sequences and its realistic portrayal of the robbers, which helped to make the audience invest emotionally in the characters.

Despite its age, the movie has aged remarkably well and still holds up as an impressive piece of cinematic artistry. The Great Train Robbery is not only a significant film in terms of its historical context, but it is also a highly enjoyable experience for modern audiences. Its inventive approach to storytelling and its use of cinematic techniques that were ahead of its time make it a must-watch for anyone interested in the history of cinema.

In conclusion, The Great Train Robbery remains an important film in the history of cinema. Its combination of thrilling action, realistic characters, and innovative techniques helped to establish cinema as a powerful medium for storytelling and entertainment. Even today, over a century later, the movie continues to captivate audiences and serve as a testament to the power of film as an art form.

Great Train Robbery, The
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (20,590)