7.3/10
13,189
84 user 40 critic

The Great Train Robbery (1903)

A group of bandits stage a brazen train hold-up, only to find a determined posse hot on their heels.

Director:

(uncredited)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Short | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A group of astronomers go on an expedition to the Moon.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès, Victor André, Bleuette Bernon
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A group of people are standing in a straight line along the platform of a railway station, waiting for a train, which is seen coming at some distance. When the train stops at the platform, ... See full summary »

Directors: Auguste Lumière, Louis Lumière
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A man opens the big gates to the Lumière factory. Through the gateway and a smaller doorway beside it, workers are streaming out, turning either left or right. Most of them are women in ... See full summary »

Director: Louis Lumière
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A gardener is watering his flowers, when a mischievous boy sneaks up behind his back, and puts a foot on the water hose. The gardener is surprised, and looks into the nozzle to find out why... See full summary »

Director: Louis Lumière
Stars: François Clerc, Benoît Duval
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The Stoneman family finds its friendship with the Camerons affected by the Civil War, both fighting in opposite armies. The development of the war in their lives plays through to Lincoln's assassination and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry B. Walthall
Short | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An astronomer falls asleep and has a strange dream involving a fairy queen and the Moon.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Jeanne d'Alcy, Georges Méliès
Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses a somnambulist, Cesare, to commit murders.

Director: Robert Wiene
Stars: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher
Short | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Porter's sequential continuity editing links several shots to form a narrative of firemen responding to a house fire. They leave the station with their horse drawn pumper, arrive on the ... See full summary »

Directors: George S. Fleming, Edwin S. Porter
Stars: Vivian Vaughan, Arthur White, James H. White
Short | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí present seventeen minutes of bizarre, surreal imagery.

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Pierre Batcheff, Simone Mareuil, Luis Buñuel
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

One of the greatest of black art pictures. The conjurer appears before the audience, with his head in its proper place. He then removes his head, and throwing it in the air, it appears on ... See full summary »

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Short | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Using every known means of transportation, several savants from the Geographic Society undertake a journey through the Alps to the Sun which finishes under the sea.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès, Fernande Albany, Jeanne d'Alcy
Short | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The first scene shows the chief as he explains to his followers the plan of the great train robbery. Two masked robbers enter and compel the operator to stop the approaching train. They ... See full summary »

Director: Siegmund Lubin
Stars: Emily Lubin
Edit

Cast

Uncredited cast:
A.C. Abadie ...
Sheriff (uncredited)
...
Bandit / Shot Passenger / Tenderfoot Dancer (uncredited)
...
(uncredited)
...
Bandit Who Fires at Camera (uncredited)
Walter Cameron ...
Sheriff (uncredited)
John Manus Dougherty Sr. ...
Fourth Bandit (uncredited)
...
Little Boy (uncredited)
Shadrack E. Graham ...
Child (uncredited)
Frank Hanaway ...
Bandit (uncredited)
Adam Charles Hayman ...
Bandit (uncredited)
Morgan Jones ...
(uncredited)
...
Locomotive Engineer (uncredited)
...
Trainman / Bandit (uncredited)
Marie Murray ...
Dance-Hall Dancer (uncredited)
Mary Snow ...
Little Girl (uncredited)
Edit

Storyline

Among the earliest existing films in American cinema - notable as the first film that presented a narrative story to tell - it depicts a group of cowboy outlaws who hold up a train and rob the passengers. They are then pursued by a Sheriff's posse. Several scenes have color included - all hand tinted. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Action | Western

Certificate:

TV-G

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 December 1903 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le vol du grand rapide  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$150 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(hand-colored)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The final shot of a gun being fired toward the camera had a profound effect on audiences. As cinema was in its infancy, many people who saw the film thought that they were actually about to be shot. See more »

Goofs

When the guard riding with the money in the baggage car is shot he throws his arms straight up in the air and falls to the floor with them extended. He was shot more then once, but while laying on the floor he holds his right arm up off the floor while his attackers search his body. Once they get up, he crosses his right arm across his face. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rango: The Not So Good Train Robbery (1967) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Porter's innovative early film
8 May 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This film, often lauded as one of the first movies to include a linear narrative within its running time, came out of the Edison company over a hundred years ago, following their experiments in the previous decades with shorter topical pieces such as cockfighting, dancers, and other limited scenarios.

'The Great Train Robbery' is a simple enough story - a train is robbed, there is a shoot-out. The interesting scenes for me were the ones where the passengers are held at gunpoint while their valuables are collected, the shoot-out with its hand-coloured bursts of gunfire, and the famous final shot where a gun is fired directly at the audience. Not too frightening now, but back in those days this was quite an innovation.

Historically important and with a basic plot still in use today, this film holds significant interest for a wide audience (and will take less than a quarter of an hour of your time to view).


18 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?