Groundbreaking Film Technology: The Great Train Robbery"
The Great train Robbery laid the foundation for Western film making by using cutting
edge technology and ground breaking techniques to portray the film’s relatively deep topic. This
video was especially important in the process of film making because it encompassed different
techniques and process that were unknown to the film making world such as editing, scene
cutting, and photography/cinematography."
The Great Train Robbery is a 1903 American silent short Western film written, produced,
and directed by Edwin S. Porter. At ten minutes long, it is considered a milestone in film making,
expanding on Porter's previous work Life of an American Fireman. The film used a number of
innovative techniques including composite editing, camera movement and on location shooting.
The film is one of the earliest to use the technique of cross cutting, in which two scenes appear
to occur simultaneously but in different locations. Some prints were also hand colored in certain
The Great Train Robbery was directed and photographed by Edwin S. Porter, a former
Edison Studios cameraman. Actors in the movie included Alfred C. Abadie, Broncho Billy
Anderson and Justus D. Barnes, although there were no credits. Though a Western, it was
filmed in Milltown, New Jersey. In 1990, The Great Train Robbery was selected for preservation
in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally,
historically, or aesthetically significant”. "
This film was important to American culture not just in part to the advancements used to
make the film, but what the film actually depicted. The film educated Americans and brought
awareness to an otherwise unnoticed passion that Porter was using to portray the West."