Classic Streamliners - TRAINCYCLOPEDIA
The Great Train Robbery (1903)
Full COMPLETE Original Film RESTORED
This is the longest and most complete version of the film available. Filmed in November 1903 at Edison's New York studio, at Essex County Park in New Jersey, and along the Lackawanna railroad and released in December 1903, "The Great Train Robbery" is considered to be one of the first significant early US narrative films. Greatly influenced by the British film "Daring Daylight Robbery" (1903) it introduced many new cinematic techniques (cross cutting, double exposure, camera movement and location shooting) to American audiences. It was directed by Edwin S. Porter and stars Justus D. Barnes as the head bandit, G. M. Anderson as a slain passenger and a robber, Walter Cameron as the sheriff. Original film in the public domain. Print provided by the US Library of Congress. Film remastered, tinted and new soundtrack added in 2011 by The VIdeo Cellar. Music: Kevin MacLeod. (Continued below)
The Great Train Robbery is a 1903 American silent short Western film written, produced, and directed by Edwin S. Porter, a former Edison Studios cameraman. Actors in the movie included Alfred C. Abadie, Broncho Billy Anderson and Justus D. Barnes, although there were no credits. Though a Western, it was filmed in Milltown, New Jersey. The film was inspired by Scott Marble's 1896 stage play.
At twelve minutes long, The Great Train Robbery film is considered a milestone in film making, expanding on Porter's previous work Life of an American Fireman. The film used a number of then-unconventional techniques, including composite editing, on-location shooting, and frequent camera movement. The film is one of the earliest to use the technique of cross cutting, in which two scenes are shown to be occurring simultaneously but in different locations. Some prints were also hand colored in certain scenes. Techniques used in The Great Train Robbery were inspired by those used in Frank Mottershaw's British film A Daring Daylight Burglary, released earlier in the year. Film historians now largely consider The Great Train Robbery to be the first American action film and the first Western film with a "recognizable form".
In 1990, The Great Train Robbery was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
Meanwhile, back in the telegraph office, the bound operator awakens, but he collapses again. His daughter arrives bringing him his meal and cuts him free, and restores him to consciousness by dousing him with water.
There is some comic relief at a dance hall, where an Eastern stranger is forced to dance while the locals fire at his feet. The door suddenly opens and the telegraph operator rushes in to tell them of the robbery. The men quickly form a posse, which overtakes the bandits, and in a final shootout kills them all and recovers the stolen mail.
In the 1990 film Goodfellas, the final shot of Tommy shooting at the camera was based on the shot from this film.
Alfred C. Abadie as Sheriff
Broncho Billy Anderson as Bandit / Shot Passenger / Tenderfoot Dancer
Justus D. Barnes as Bandit Who Fires At Camera
Walter Cameron as Sheriff
Donald Gallaher as Little boy
Frank Hanaway as Bandit
Adam Charles Hayman as Bandit
John Manus Dougherty, Sr. as Fourth bandit
Marie Murray as Dance-hall dancer
Mary Snow as Little girl
George Barnes (uncredited)
Morgan Jones (uncredited)
Release and reception
The Great Train Robbery had its official debut at Huber's Museum in New York City before being exhibited at eleven theaters elsewhere in the city. In advertising for the film, Edison agents touted the film as "...absolutely the superior of any moving picture ever made" as well as a "...faithful imitation of the genuine 'Hold Ups' made famous by various outlaw bands in the far West..."
The film's budget was an estimated $150. Upon its release, The Great Train Robbery became a massive success and is considered one of the first Western films. It is also considered one of the first blockbusters and was one of the most popular films of the silent era until the release of The Birth of a Nation in 1915.
Justus D. Barnes as the leader of the outlaw band, taking aim and firing point blank at the audience, shocking many first-time moviegoers with the extreme realism of the final shot.
A popular poster from the film.
Text: wikipedia.org. Images: Public Domain; http://www.commons.wikimedia.org (unless otherwise specified) and 17 U.S. Code § 107 fair use. References: Lewis, Robert G. The Handbook of American Railroads. New York: Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation, 1951, 2nd Edition 1956. Site Map Contact webmaster HERE.
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