It wasn't the first Western, despite many claims to the contrary, and it wasn't the first movie with a complete narrative. But no one dispute that "The Great Train Robbery" was a landmark both for moviemaking and for the way we remember the Wild West.

Released in 1903 and filmed in the least Western locations you could imagine — New York and New Jersey, which was then the studio capital of the world — "The Great Train Robbery" fused many of the relatively new filming techniques of the time to make it an instant classic. In 1990, the Library of Congress made it official by adding it to the United States Film Registry.

Here's the entire film "The Great Train Robbery":

historynet magazines

Our 9 best-selling history titles feature in-depth storytelling and iconic imagery to engage and inform on the people, the wars, and the events that shaped America and the world. Sale! Save $7.99 on your subscription today!

subscribe today—and save up to 30%

American History magazine February 2022
cover America's Civil War magazine
January 2022 cover Aviation History magazine January 2022
cover Civil War Times magazine February
2022 cover Military History magazine
January 2022 cover Military History Quarterly magazine winter 2022
cover Vietnam magazine February 2022
cover World War II magazine February 2022
cover Wild West magazine February 2022