[[caption-width-right:300:[[SeanConneryIsAboutToShootYou Shooting the audience]] half a century before Film/JamesBond.]]

An early film [[TheWestern Western]], made in 1903 by Edwin S. Porter for Thomas Edison's production company. It depicts a group of criminals robbing a train and its passengers, escaping in the uncoupled locomotive, and being pursued and killed by a {{posse}} recruited from a local dance hall. Apart from the title card and the famous shot of an outlaw firing at the audience,[[note]]Which is arguably not part of the film's main continuity; it can, in the words of the Edison catalogue, "be used either to begin the subject or to end it" -- even though in the latter case the character has just been seen to die.[[/note]] the film consists of thirteen shots, taking place in three interior and a variety of exterior locations. There are no intertitles.

It was one of the longest narrative films yet produced,[[note]]740 feet, or about 12 minutes when projected at 16 fps[[/note]] and contains early uses of what would come to be standard cinematic techniques: composite editing (via multiple exposure), location shooting, intercutting between simultaneously-occurring scenes, cutting within the same scene to compress time, and camera movement.

This film is in the public domain, and may be viewed at [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bc7wWOmEGGY YouTube]] and elsewhere.

Not to be confused with the 1975 Creator/MichaelCrichton novel or other SimilarlyNamedWorks.

!!This film provides examples of:

* BoundAndGagged: The bandits knock out the station agent and tie him up.
* BreakingTheFourthWall[=/=]TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou: One of the earliest known film examples of this trope; the leader of the outlaws [[SecondPersonAttack fires at the audience]]. There are urban legends that some people were so shocked at seeing this, that they ducked or even ''passed out'' in the theater--well, even in 1903 people knew that real bandits were in color and three-dimensional, so probably not. But the final shot doubtlessly made an impact. It's a surprise even for a modern-day viewer.
* BulletDancing: Done by the townspeople, oddly enough, when a "dude" in fancy clothes intrudes upon their square dance.
* CaliforniaDoubling: New Jersey stands in for TheWildWest.
* InTheBack: One of the passengers makes a break for it, only to receive this as a result.
* JumpCut: The transition between the scenes of the locomotive taking off and stopping is a bit too close in composition.
* PopculturalOsmosis: It's mainly known through its homages, particularly the famous shot of Justus Barnes being used in ''Film/{{Tombstone}}''.
* {{Posse}}: The townspeople form one and chase down the bandits.
* SeanConneryIsAboutToShootYou: Justus D. Barnes did it 60 years before the TropeNamer.
* SplashOfColor: The gunshot and some clothing, achieved by hand-coloring frames one at a time.
* ThiefBag: How the bandits carry their loot away. Missing the stereotypical dollar sign, though.
* TrainJob
* TropeCodifier
* TheWestern: Popularly known as the very first! [[OlderThanTheyThink Popularly.]]