Great Train Robbery"
closing of the Black Maria did not spell the end for the movie
industry in New Jersey. Thanks to its varied landscapes, New
Jersey provided a great setting for many kinds of movies.
most popular among New Jersey films was "The Great Train
the movie online.) Edison's cameraman Edwin S. Porter directed
and filmed the landmark western. Porter, considered the "father
of American story film," shot the ten-minute, 14-scene
movie in various New Jersey locations including Paterson. It
was the most popular and commercially successful film of its
film was quite different from other movies. Edison had been
filming everyday events such as snowstorms. Porter convinced
Edison people would flock to the theaters to see a story on
film. Porter was the first director to use close-ups and edit
film to create suspense.
and a group of local actors headed for the wilds of New Jersey
to shoot the film. The plot was inspired by a true event that
occurred on August 29, 1900, when four members of Butch Cassidy's "Hole
in the Wall" gang halted a train on the Union Pacific
Railroad tracks in Wyoming. The bandits blew up the safe in
the mail car to escape with about $5,000 in cash before a posse
ending of the film was most exciting to viewers. A gun was
pointed straight at the audience and fired right in their faces
to startle them. The scene never failed to send viewers in
the front row diving for cover.
the popularity of narrative films soaring, movie stars were
born. Fort Lee became the home to many of the first movie stars.
Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Pearl White, and Harold Lloyd
all performed and lived in Fort Lee.
World War I spelled the end of the movie industry in New Jersey.
Soon almost all movies were made in Hollywood. In recent years
though, the film industry has come back to New Jersey, as it
is no longer as necessary to shoot all movies in a central