Welcome to the Weekly Movie Thread, your place on the Avocado to discuss films with your fellow commenters. Want to make a recommendation? Looking for recommendations? Want to share your opinions of movies, both new and classic?
This year marks the 120th anniversary of The Great Train Robbery, a movie that is generally known by a single shot.
Or, to be more accurate, six shots.
This single moment was meant for a very practical purpose. The Great Train Robbery was mean to loop in whatever venue it was being shown in, like it was a 13 minute animated GIF. This image of a guy shooting a gun was meant to be played at the beginning or at the end of the film to indicate that the movie had started or ended.
The image was so indelible to so many filmmakers that they wanted to ascribe the film itself honorifics that it probably didn’t deserve. It’s the first western! No, The Great Train Robbery was not. Westerns have been around since 1894. It’s the first story film! No… also not true. It may not have either, but the equally well-known A Trip to the Moon came out a year prior.
So… why is The Great Train Robbery important? It’s probably only for two very mundane reasons: it was popular, and the Edison Company was smart enough to donate the film to the Library of Congress pretty much immediately. Being popular and putting your film in a public archives doesn’t make for a good Wikipedia “Legacy” section.
But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a very important movie for a lot of people despite the dubiousness of the legends.
Today’s bonus prompt: What movie “fact” did you later find out was wrong or a fabrication?
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