Greatest Films of the Pre-1920s
Greatest Films of the Pre-1920s

Greatest Films of the Pre-1920s
1902 | 1903 | 1914 | 1915 | 1916 | 1919


Title Screen Film Genre(s), Title, Year, (Country), Length, Director, Description
The Great Train Robbery (1903)

The Great Train Robbery (1903), 12 minutes, D: Edwin S. Porter
One of the milestones in film history was this first narrative film - a primitive one-reeler action picture, about 10 minutes long with 14 scenes, filmed in November 1903 on the East Coast. It was the most popular and commercially-successful film of the pre-nickelodeon era, and established the notion that film could be a profitable and viable medium. The story, about bandits robbing a moving train, the subsequent chase, and capture of the criminals, used a number of innovative techniques, many of them for the first time, including parallel editing, minor camera movement, location shooting and less stage-bound camera placement. The ending of a bandit shooting directly into the camera scared early audiences.

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