(3 ratings - Login to add yours)
  • Published: New York, NY : Kino on Video, c2002.
  • Year Published: 2002
  • Description: 1 videodisc (75 min.) : sd., b&w & tinted ; 4 3/4 in.
  • Language: English
  • Format: DVD

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 0027616714923


Additional Credits


Recently Listed On


Login to add tags

Share This

AADL currently owns no copies of this item
  • DVD

The Great train robbery

There are no copies available

Where To Find It

No copies found.

Additional Details

Includes film "Homage to Eadweard Muybridge."

Originally produced in 1994.

Motion studies (1877-85) / Eadweard Muybridge.-- Actualities (1896-97) / Louis Lumiere.-- The Great train robbery (1903) / Edwin S. Porter.-- The Golden beetle (1907) / Ferdinand Zecca.-- A trip to the moon (1902) / Georges Melies.-- Kinetoscopes (1894-96) / Thomas Edison.-- Biograph Mutoscope.

The genesis of the motion picture medium is recreated in this 5-part collection of the cinema's formative works which reveal the foundation from which the styles and plots of contemporary cinema later evolved. This first program includes the first blockbuster in American film, The Great Train Robbery and other significant early films by pioneer filmmakers.

DVD ; full screen.

Community Reviews

Great Primer on Early Film

If you want to get the basics on the birth of filmmaking, this disc is a great way to do it in just over an hour. It begins with Muybridge's famous photographic studies, then progresses to Edison shorts - he basically just set the camera in various rooms and turned it on - and to the Lumiere brothers bigger-scale efforts, which take advantage of outdoor settings, natural light, and actually frame the shots in a painterly way. Then there's the hugely influential A Trip to the Moon. Its opening brings to mind the hammy setpieces in the Wizard of Oz, and Melies basically invents all kinds of special effects over the course of 12 minutes. The story is ridiculous and completely entertaining, particularly the MoonMen, a bunch of acrobats costumed with giant "alien" heads (they look sort of like evil chipmunks), who thrash around and then explode into thin air in what must have been a jawdropping effect at the time. Following this are a series of Burlesques, which record what was probably somewhat naughty in the day (a large woman needs help with her corset, a randy nightclub owner chases lovelies who are mostly out of frame around his office).

Probably the most interesting thing about this one is the contrast between the European movies, which are more concerned with fantasy and interesting effects, and the American ones, which deal with more realistic stories. The Great Train Robbery has a way of putting you in the seats of those early theaters, saying, Wow, how did they do that? In it, a group of Very Bad Men do Very Bad Things to people on an enormous train (you never could have acheived this on stage); at one point, at least 800 people file out of it to be held up by 3 men (an exaggeration, but seriously, as people continue to file out, you may ask yourself, how many clowns can they fit in that thing?). The location shooting, the magic of being able to add suspense through camera movement, and the excitement of being able to accomplish things you could never accomplish in the confines of a theater are truly inspiring.

You can finish up by watching The Whole Dam Family by Porter and The Golden Beetle by Zecca. Truly, the line gets drawn in the sand here; the American Porter has a great time setting down a humorous portrait without words of a typical American family complete with dog, while Zecca creates a mystical confection with innovative techniques like overlapping film.

All in all, this is a terrific DVD that helps you feel the excitement and possibilities that this technology opened up.


Login to write a review of your own.