film 79 of 103

The Great Train Robbery

Film Review by Dean Duncan May 28, 2015

This is an extremely famous, enormously important movie. This time around I find it familiar to the point of memorization. What to say, that hasn’t already been so said?

Well, the interiors scenes are staged perpendicular to the camera, but outside we get all sorts of interesting angles. Watch for the striking and very effective colour effects. See if you can guess which guy is going to run out from the crowd there, and get shot. I mean this very respectfully. He’s eager to do his part, and he’ll do it quite creditably. But you can tell! As so often, as always, really, this is fiction, but there are so many real relations buried within it.

I am noticing that the final gunfight is quite a bit like Edison’s Capture of a Boer Battery (q.v.). That is partly not here, nor there. On the other hand, what an arbitrary thing is fame, or notoriety, or the film that gets attended to and celebrated forevermore, as opposed to the one that gets utterly forgotten.