The Great Train Robbery - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Great Train Robbery Reviews

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½ October 3, 2017
Landmark short film still holds up over 100 years later.
½ January 2, 2017
I've heard a lot of talk about "Birth of a Nation" being the first film to use the camera as a storytelling device (instead of treating the frame like the stage of a play), but the seeds of that are definitely at work here and this film precedes that by twelve years. If it wasn't this first, it's still among one of the first movies to build a narrative scene to scene and location to location, creating a standalone story. It also introduced genre elements that would become staples of the Western for nearly half a century. Trains, bandits, the American West, and the romanticization of the outlaw are all in play here. It can be fun to learn your roots. 7.1/10
November 2, 2016
Entiendo por quà (C) es un ícono, por los efectos y lo que pudieron contar en tan poco tiempo, especialmente por la à (C)poca, sin embargo no es tan interesante.
October 13, 2016
very early film. innovative for its time. enjoy it for what it is... all 12 minutes.
Super Reviewer
October 8, 2016
The first Western film ever, The Great Train Robbery lacks aesthetic values but it is an important millstone in the history of cinema.
½ September 11, 2016
When compared to other contemporaries such as A Trip to the Moon and The Birth of a Nation, The Great Train Robbery feels underwhelming. It was one of the first movies to be filmed on location and it used unconventional editing techniques at the time, which is quite respectable. However, its final scene (as iconic as it is) feels as an isolated part of the film, used for shocking audiences only. Additionally, it might be a difficult film for an audience that is not accustomed for this type of film. If you want to know more about film history, it is a film you can watch, otherwise, you may skip this one.
July 5, 2016
good early silent western doesn't wow me today but I bet it did
April 10, 2016
This is obviously extremely dated but remains a decent, watchable film and, very importantly, one of the first to go for a narrative coherence, paving the way for the better films that would follow.
September 18, 2015
How can the birth if feature film be less then a 5 it's a mark of excellence a start to something different.
August 11, 2015
A must see piece of classic cinema history.
July 26, 2015
Regarded as the first western, The Great Train Robbery introduced innovative film editing, camera movement, and cross cutting, becoming a great influence to not only the Western genre, but to film itself!!!
June 16, 2015
Interesting to watch one of the oldest US movies that made history! #1001MoviesToSeeBeforeYouDie
April 4, 2015
So freaking cool! It's amazing what these guys could create, basically inventing stunt cinematography and special effects shots.
February 13, 2015
One of the first western films and using some innovative techniques, this short movie from 1903 also contains some unintentional comic moments too. 1001
Super Reviewer
January 16, 2015
Of more value as a historical document than an entertaintment but fascinating on that level.
January 10, 2015
An early behemoth of cinema.
December 26, 2014
A huge blockbuster when it came out in 1903 and one of the most influential films of the era. It helped convince audiences that films and movie theaters were there to stay. Also one of the first westerns and pioneered the use of editing techniques like the cross cut.

But how does it stand up today? The story seems somewhat simplistic today: robbers rob train, get chased, get their comeuppance. However, this is no amateur piece. The narrative construction is sharp, the editing is well done and innovative for the time, and there is a surprisingly dramatic moment when the daughter finds her bound father and attempts to revive him.
August 31, 2014
A simply told, well-made classic.
June 7, 2014
Classed by some as the first Western out there, the Great Train Robbery is fascinating seeing the use of location footage from over 100 years ago. Unlike A Trip to the Moon, I didn't find this short as easy to follow. This is always going to be the problem with silent movies as you have to rely on the actions on screen. The whole robbery segment is clear but as soon as that ends it begins to become unclear. On the plus side, the very last short (or first shot depending on version) was an interesting idea bringing you eye-to-eye with one of the robbers.
May 26, 2014
The question of when cinema began has both a simple and a complex answer. The simple answer often given is that cinema began in 1895, with the demonstration of an invention by two French brothers, the Lumières, of a machine that could both capture and project moving pictures. The complex answer to the question is a lot more interesting. David Parkinson describes cinema as the most modern, technologically dependent, and Western of all the arts. However, another way of looking at cinema is that it was the convergence of several long-term processes, such as: the appeal of visual stimulation for humans; an awareness of certain peculiarities of vision; a nineteenth-century interest in technology, machinery, and spectacle; and some financial acumen by specific individuals.
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