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  George O’Brien and Madge Bellamy (front).
Photograph: Silent Era image collection.
 
 
The Iron Horse
(1924) American
B&W : Twelve reels / 11,335 feet
Directed by John Ford

Cast: George O’Brien [Dave Brandon], Madge Bellamy [Miriam Marsh], Charles Edward Bull [Abraham Lincoln], Cyril Chadwick [Peter Jesson], Will Walling (William Walling) [Thomas Marsh], Francis Powers [Sergeant Slattery], J. Farrell MacDonald [Corporal Casey], James Welch [Private Schultz], George Wagner (George Waggner) [Colonel William F. ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody], Fred Kohler (Sr.) [Deroux], James Marcus [Judge Haller], Gladys Hulette [Ruby]; Walter Rogers [General Dodge], John Padjan [Wild Bill Hickok], Charles O’Malley [Major North], Charles Newton [?] [Cottis P. Harrington or Collis P. Huntington]?, Colin Chase [Tony], Delbert Mann [Charles Crocker], Chief Big Tree [Cheyenne chief], Chief White Spear [Sioux chief], Edward Piel [old Chinaman], James Gordon [David Brandon Sr.], Winston Miller [Dave Brandon, as a child], Peggy Cartwright [Miriam Marsh, as a child], Thomas Durant [Jack Ganzhorn], Stanhope Wheatcroft [John Hay], Frances Teague [Polka Dot], Jack O’Brien [Dinny], Dan Borzage

Fox Film Corporation production; distributed by Fox Film Corporation. / Produced by William Fox. Scenario by Charles Kenyon, from a screen story by Charles Kenyon and John Russell. Assistant director, Edward O’Fearna. Photography (cinematography) by George Schneiderman + [Burnett Guffey]. Titles (intertitles) by Charles Darnton. Original music score by Erno Rapee. Presented by William Fox. / © 21 November 1924 by Fox Film Corporation [LP20787]. Premiered 28 August 1924 in New York, New York. General release, 4 October 1925. / Standard 35mm spherical 1.37:1 format. / Working titles: The Iron Trail and The Trans-Continental Railroad. Close-ups of Madge Bellamy were inserted against Ford’s wishes. The scenes with Lincoln were included at Fox’s suggestion. The film was edited to 10,424 feet in eleven reels for a sound film rerelease. Existing prints are commonly from the European negative, which differs somewhat from Ford’s American version.

Drama: Western-Historical.

Survival status: Prints exist in the 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation film archive [35mm safety preservation negative, European release version], and in the Library of Congress film archive (American Film Institute collection) [original American release version].

Current rights holder: (unknown)

Keywords: Abraham Lincoln - Alcohol - Animals: Buffalo, Cattle, Dogs, Horses - Arrows - Attacks - Axes - Barbers - Beards - Books - Bottles - Buildings - Cattle drives - Chairs: Dentist - Chinese - Colonel William F. Cody - Courtrooms - Covered wagons - Crime: Attempted murder - Dancers - Dancing - Death - Deceit - Deception - Dentists - Desks - Divorces - Doors - Engineers - Eyeglasses - Falls - Fights - Gamblers - Gambling - Games: Card: Poker - Games: Roulette - Ghost towns - Gloves - Graves - Guns - Hatchets - Hats - History: USA: American Civil War (1861-1865) - Irish - Italians - Judges - Kisses - Labor vs management - Lanterns - Locomotives - Marriages - Mirrors - Musical instruments: Banjos, Pianos - Native Americans: Cheyenne tribe, Pawnee tribe - Offices - Orphans - Paint - Pins - Pipes - Pistols - Pony Express riders - Promises: Broken - Prostitutes - Railroads: Central Pacific, Union Pacific - Railroad spikes - Railroad ties - Railroad tracks - Ravines - Renegades - Rescues - Rivers - Rope - Saloons - Signage - Sign painting - Snow - Soldiers - Stagecoaches - Strangulation - Teepees - Telegraph poles - Telegraphs - Tents - Tobacco: Chewing, Cigars - Tooth extractions - Trains - Train tracks - Transcontinental railroad - Trees - Trust - USA: District of Columbia: Washington: The White House - USA: Illinois: Springfield - USA: Wyoming: Cheyenne - Water - Weapons: Guns, Rifles - Widows - Wild Bill Hickok - Wood stoves

Listing updated: 8 December 2009.

References: Film credits, film viewing : Barnard-Argentine p. 134; Bohn-Light pp. xxiii, 93, 225, 226; Cary-Hollywood p. 164; Drew-Speaking pp. 7, 21-23, 26, 273; Edmonds-Arbuckle p. 273; Everson-American pp. 11, 12, 86k, 190, 205, 223, 254, 255, 259, 289; Fell-History p. 92; Gallagher-Ford pp. 31-32, 34, 36, 37, 39, 260, 465, 498; Geduld-Birth p. 38; Lahue-Collecting p. 46; Leish-Cinema p. 53; Limbacher-Feature p. 122; Pitts-Hollywood pp. 16, 82, 173, 174, 175, 281, 290; Shipman-Cinema pp. 82, 84; Sinclair-Ford pp. 34-36, 37, 40, 178b, 234-235; Sinyard-Silent pp. 140, 141; Smith-Colman p. 75; Sweeney-Coming p. 69; Vermilye-Twenties pp. 26, 31 : ClasIm-226 p. 40; ClasIm-279 p. 36 : Website-AFI : with additional information provided by Tag Gallagher.

Home video: DVD.

 
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