The first movie sequel?

Are you tired of endless film sequels and remakes? Do you long for the early days of cinema when everything was original? Think again.

Though sequels and remakes were a bit less prevalent decades ago (if you discount serials), they have been around since almost the dawn of cinema. Case in point: The Little Train Robbery (1905), director Edwin Porter and producer Thomas Edison’s follow-up to their 1903 classic, The Great Train Robbery, which was considered the most famous film ever at the time.

Though this one-reeler (about 10-12 minutes long, depending on how fast you crank it) could be more accurately described as a parody, it is considered by many to be the first film sequel or remake. It’s simply a tongue-in-cheek retelling of the original, with kids instead of adults as the robbers, and a miniature train in place of a regular-sized one. (“Thank God for the model trains, you know? If they didn’t have the model trains, they wouldn’t have gotten the idea for the big trains.”)

The movie is an admittedly tough watch, but remember that 1905 audiences would have viewed this in nitrate, on a big screen, with a rollicking piano. Try to imagine …

© 2023 MeierMovies, LLC

Comments are closed.