Edwin S. Porter’s landmark 1903 silent film The Great Train Robbery told a story like no motion picture had before, and it took as its subject bandits from the Wild West. They’re not on the train the whole time: other scenes include a shoot-out amid a copse of trees and a dance hall. And, of course, there’s the famous shot of a gunman firing his weapon directly at audience members, who didn’t know what hit them. The revolutionary movie was a monumental success.
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