The Great Train Robbery (1903 film)
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Great Train Robbery is a 1903 western film by Edwin S. Porter. The film is only twelve minutes long, but is a milestone in film making, expanding on Porter's previous work Life of an American Fireman. The film used a number of innovative techniques including cross cutting, double exposure composite editing, camera movement and on location shooting. Cross-cuts were a new, sophisticated film editing technique.
An additional scene is included in the film. It is a close up of the leader of the bandits, played by Justus D. Barnes, firing point blank towards the camera, at the audience. While usually placed at the end, Porter stated that the scene could also be played at the beginning. It is known as a non-diegetic insert. The schen may have influenced the James Bond gun barrel sequence.