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The Great Train Robbery 1903

  • Edwin S. Porter
  • December 1, 1903
  • 12 mins
  • English
  • Western, Action, Adventure
The clerk at the train station is assaulted and left tied by four men, then they rob the train threatening the operator. (They) take all the money and shoot a passenger when trying to run away. A little girl discovers the clerk tied and gives notice to the sheriff, who at once goes along with his men hunting the bandits.


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Shout by Eòghann MacLeòid

This is by most accounts the first Western, and certainly one of the first long-form narratives. Some bandits orchestrate a robbery but are foiled and killed in a shoot-out. What's truly notable is the relatively advanced technique used to construct the film; there is a refreshing lack of narration cards and the action flows well from one scene to another. It doesn't outstay its welcome at just under twelve minutes and feels as if it has a clear beginning, middle and end.

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an important piece of film history, worth seeing !

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Very interesting little film. I'm sure I've read elsewhere that this is the first actual narrative movie made (i.e. scripted). Feels a bit stagey by today's standards, but it has all the elements of a modern movie.

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