Film: 621

Feature Drama | 1900 | Silent | B/W + Colour


A coloured and tinted version of the American Western film, "The Great Train Robbery" featuring a group of bandits who stage a train heist only to find a determined posse from town in hot pursuit. Edwin S Porer 1903

00:00:00 Opening credits.

00:00:05 Interior of railroad telegraph office, the train operator sits at a desk facing away from the camera as two masked robbers burst into the office at left with guns, forcing the telegraph operator to set the signal block in order to stop the approaching train, they force him to write a fictitious order to the engineer as a train approaches the station in the background, the two bandits hide (one under the conductor's desk and the other behind the door) and remain unseen as the engineer appears through a window at left and takes the order from the train operator, the bandit hiding behind the door hits the operator with his gun, causing the operator to fall to the floor, the bandits take rope and bind the hands and feet of the operator and ties a handkerchief around his face, the bandits exit through the door at left leaving the conductor on the floor.

00:00:51 At the railroad water tank, the bandits hide behind the tank as a train stops to take water (according to false order), before the train pulls out the group of bandits board the train between the express car and the tender and the train pulls away.

00:01:18 (Tinted film colour) Interior of express car on the moving train, the messenger stands with his back to the camera undertaking various inspections of items as he hears the robbers on the train (out of scene), he frantically locks a wooden safe and throws the key out of the open door of the train before two bandits enter, the messenger opens fire on them and a pistol duel takes place and the messenger is dramatically killed, one of the robbers stands watch while the other tries to open the treasure box, finding it locked he searches the messenger for the key but is unable to find the key, so instead blows the safe up with dynamite, the bandits take the treasure from the box and several sacks, and exit the door to the left.

00:01:59 Point of view on the fast moving train on the tender, an thrilling scene of the bandit fighting, punching, and beating a train conductor on the tender, the bandit throws the dead train conductor off the side of the moving train as the train comes to a halt, the remaining train conductor exits the train.

00:02:39 The bandits follow the train conductor with guns and force him to uncouple the locomotive from the rest of the train, they then go back into the locomotive travel down the tracks leaving the passenger trains behind.

00:03:00 Exterior of passenger coaches and train tracks, the bandits compel the large number of passengers to leave coaches with hands aloft and they line up along the tracks, one of the robbers holds them up with large pistols in either hand while the other bandits ransack the travellers' pockets, one passenger makes an attempt to escape, but is instantly shot down and dramatically dies, the bandits shoot their guns in the air and run away as the passengers run towards the dead passenger.

00:04:08 The escape, the bandits run to board the locomotive with their booty, command the engineer to start his machine, and the train disappears in the distance. The robbers bring the engine to a stop, disembark the train with their booty, and take to the mountains to the left of the scene.

00:04:37 A wooded valley, the bandits come down the side of a hill on a run and cross a narrow stream, they mounting their horses (two brown horses and two white horses which were tied to nearby trees) and they ride into the wilderness.

00:05:10 (Tinted colour) The interior of telegraph office, the operator lies bound and gagged on the floor, after a desperate struggle, he succeeds in standing up and leans on the table, he he telegraphs for assistance by manipulating the key with his chin, and then faints from exhaustion, a little girl enters, shakes the operator, cuts the ropes, prays, and throws a glass of water in his face, and the conductor gets up.

00:05:45 (Tinted colour) Interior of a Western dance hall with men and women dancing and playing music, one man dances in the centre of the group while the men shoot their guns at the floor with enthusiasm, they dance several choreographed square dance sequences, the door suddenly opens and the telegraph operator staggers in, he relates what has happened, and the men leave in pursuit of the outlaws through the door at left.

00:06:32 The posse in pursuit, the robbers gallop down a rugged mountain towards the camera, followed closely by a large posse of men on horses, both parties fire at each other as they race down the path and one of the bandits is shot, falls off his horse, then is shot dead, the last of the men gets off his horse to check to make sure the bandit is dead.

00:06:57 The remaining three bandits stand in a woody scene, appearing to have eluded their pursuers and have dismounted from their horses, the bandits examine the contents of the mail bags, the pursuers, having also left their horses, steal noiselessly down upon them from behind until they are completely surrounded, a gunfight ensues, the horses are startled, and all of the robbers and several of the posse are killed, the men from the posse take the contents of the mail bags.

00:07:36 Full frame of the leader of the outlaw band, taking aim and firing twice point blank at the camera.

00:07:40 End credits.

00:07:43 End of film.

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