The Great Train Robbery 1903

The Great Train Robbery

Critics Consensus

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100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 7

75%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,710
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Movie Info

Bandits stage a brazen train robbery.

Cast & Crew

Shadrack E. Graham
Child
Adam Charles Hayman
Bandit
Tom London
Locomotive Engineer
Robert Milasch
Trainman , Bandit
Edwin S. Porter
Screenwriter
Scott Marble.
Screenwriter
Edwin S. Porter
Cinematographer
Blair Smith
Cinematographer
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Critic Reviews for The Great Train Robbery

All Critics (7) | Fresh (7)

Audience Reviews for The Great Train Robbery

  • Oct 08, 2016
    The first Western film ever, The Great Train Robbery lacks aesthetic values but it is an important millstone in the history of cinema.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Oct 23, 2013
    A year after George Melies made history with his cute little sci-fi picture, American film maverick Edwin S. Porter cemented his own legacy with this breezy western action film. Based on an 1896 story by Scott Marble ,this 1903 caper follows a group of bandits as they rob a train, make their escape, then have a confrontation with a group of local townspeople bent on vengeance. That's it. There's more to it than that though. Yeah, it's pretty simple and straightforward, but this film pioneered a lot of now commonplace techniques like cross-cut editing, location shooting, and double exposures. And, unlike A Trip to the Moon, this one is more like real life as opposed to fantasy, and feels a tad documentary like. This is a pretty influential and important film, and basically set the standard for the western genre especially, but also the action/heist genre as a whole. Unfortunately the version I saw had no soundtrack other than the cranking of the camera, and that's my only real complaint. Yeah, the cranking kinda fits with the movements of the train, but it gets real tedious real quick, especially since it plays for just under 12 minutes straight. Some of the acting is over the top and hammy, and it makes things feel dated and cheesy, but it also kinda adds to the charm. It's ridiculously tame by today's standards, but I also have to give this a lot of credit for being ballsy with the violence, something that was probably rather jarring for audiences 110 years ago. All in all, this is a fun movie. Yeah, it has since been eclipsed 1,000 times over, and, while it really deserves classic status for it's historical, social, and aesthetic merits, it also still works fine on its own terms as just a simple, entertaining movie.
    Chris W Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2011
    I imagine that it must have been a million times more exciting back when it was released, but I respect it, nonetheless, for its importance in cinematic history. Plus, it helped create the crime and western genres.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Oct 01, 2011
    I imagine that it must have been a million times more exciting back when it was released, but I respect it, nonetheless, for its importance in cinematic history. Plus, it helped create the crime and western genres.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer

The Great Train Robbery Quotes

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