- Includes These Other Western Classics: Tumbleweeds, The Heart of Texas Ryan and D.W. Griffith's The Battle of Elderbush Gulch
- Rated: Unrated
- Run Time: 3 hours, 4 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: December 16, 2003
- Originally Released: 1903
- Label: Vci Video
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Special Edition
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Additional Release Material:
- Additional Silent Features:
- THE BATTLE OF ELDERBUSH GULCH (1913)
- THE HEART OF TEXAS RYAN (1916)
- TUMBLEWEEDS (1925)
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Description by OLDIES.com:
2003 marked the 100th Anniversary of the release of The Great Train Robbery
, not only the first Western film - but also the first motion picture produced which contained a coherent plot! It was also one of the very first boxoffice blockbusters, instantly becoming a huge commercial success and spawning many outright imitations. Featuring Gilbert M. "Broncho Billy" Anderson in four separate roles, the 740-foot film catapulted him into some 375 other pictures and set numerous precedents in filmmaking techniques. This special 100th anniversary Special Edition version contains two versions of this historically significant western, the original silent archival version provided by the Library of Congress and a digitally enhanced version with a new music and effects track and color tinted sequences. In addition, we are presenting three other important silent classics, which feature two of the greatest contributors to the heritage of western cinema - William S. Hart and Tom Mix and one of the most influential filmmakers of all time D.W. Griffith. The Heart of Texas Ryan
(1916), featuring the legendary Tom Mix - one of the most flamboyant, true-life cowboy heroes of the silent era - is filled with the kind of action Tom Mix fans loved, including a kidnapping, fist-fights, and a last minute rescue.
The second feature, Tumbleweeds (1925) starred the great William S. Hart, in his last and biggest film. Hart co-directed with King Baggott and many consider it worthy of being ranked with "The Covered Wagon" and "The Iron Horse" as a major Western epic. The highlight of the film is a spectacular recreation of the Cherokee Strip land rush. As a special bonus the disc also includes one of D.W. Griffith's best films The Battle of Elderbush Gulch (1913) featuring Lillian Gish and Mae Marsh as two Eastern gals who move out west and encounter hostile Indians. All of these silent films have been enhanced with music and effects tracks and special prologues have been narrated by Will Hutchins (TV's "Sugarfoot").
This picture, directed and scripted by Edwin S. Porter, introduced the first cinematic cowboy star, Bronco Billy Anderson. Anderson plays several roles in this action-packed depiction of outlaws ambushing a steam train. A breakthrough achievement in motion picture history, this film stood out at the time for its length, its choice of genre (the "western"), as well as technical advancements, including its use of close-ups and Porter's decision to move the camera from side-to-side (what we now refer to as "panning"). Mandatory viewing for the cinephile.