Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Before I Die #519: The Great Train Robbery (1903)



*This is the 519th film that I've seen from the 1,149 "Before You Die" list that I'm working through.

Director: Edwin S. Porter

Really just a curiosity for film history buffs, this one.

There's really not much to it. I've embedded the entire thing from youtube, so no real need for me to describe it, other than tell you that it depicts a train heist, and then a chase.

From what I've learned, this film was massively influential for being one of the earliest "chase" films of high quality, employing steady action, a camera that follows said action, impressive stunts, and creative editing to tell a complete story. It is also credited with probably being the very first film Western. It laid the basic groundwork for action films that would follow it for decades.

The opening 2 minutes does a nice job explaining how novel and creative this film was in 1903. Still, don't expect to be overly impressed. I would suggest, though, if nothing else, jump to the 5:45 mark to get a good laugh at the beat down and ejection of the "train operator."


Kind of fun, right?

*519 films seen; only 630 to go...