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Expansion of the Nickelodeon and The Great Train Robbery

by Kate Fortmueller

The Great Train Robbery is well-known in a variety of contexts for film students. It is often cited as one of the first westerns and is well-known for its infamous last shot (where one of the bandits points a gun at the camera). This film was also very popular when it was released. As Richard Abel points out in "'Pathé Goes to Town': French Films Create a Market for the Nickelodeon," the popularity of this film predates the popularity boom of the Nickelodeon; although it cannot account for the immense growth of the Nickelodeon that would follow.

For more on nickelodeons and The Great Train Robbery, see: Richard Abel, "'Pathé Goes to Town': French Films Create a Market for the Nickelodeon," in Cinema Journal 35.1 (Fall 1995); 3-26.

The Great Train Robbery (1903)

A group of bandits attempt to rob a telegraph office and are eventually killed at the end. This film ends with the infamous last shot of one of the bandits shooting directly at the camera.

from The Great Train Robbery (1903)
Creator: Edwin S. Porter
Posted by Kate Fortmueller
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