The Iron Horse (1924)

Passed   |    |  History, Romance, Western


The Iron Horse (1924) Poster

After witnessing the murder of his father by a renegade as a boy, the grown-up Brandon helps to realize his father's dream of a transcontinental railway.


7.3/10
1,753

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  • Madge Bellamy and George O'Brien in The Iron Horse (1924)
  • Madge Bellamy, J. Farrell MacDonald, George O'Brien, Francis Powers, and Will Walling in The Iron Horse (1924)
  • Gladys Hulette, Fred Kohler, and J. Farrell MacDonald in The Iron Horse (1924)
  • J. Farrell MacDonald, Francis Powers, and Will Walling in The Iron Horse (1924)
  • Gladys Hulette in The Iron Horse (1924)
  • The Iron Horse (1924)

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User Reviews


12 June 2005 | Teebs2
7
| Patriotic Early western
Very early John Ford western, don't bother looking for John Wayne here! "The Iron Horse" tells the story of the building of the railroad across America from the East to West coasts. Of course this is a movie so we also get a romance plot, a vengeance plot, hostile Indians, corrupt officials, jovial Irishmen, nasty Indians and so forth.

Although the tone of the film is mostly pretty patriotic and upbeat, there are several darker moments that hint at the corruption and greed in business as landowners attempt to influence the route of the railroad with bribes of women and money. Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in the West" amongst many other later Westerns takes this theme further. Much of the work is done by Chinese immigrants, but they all seem pretty cheerful here!

In many areas the film is inevitably dated, particularly it's comic scenes and the aforementioned treatment of racial stereotypes. There are a few landscape shots and action scenes, but none as stunning or exciting as in Ford's slightly later "Stagecoach". The 2 hour plus running time is also a little too much. However, the film does succeed in creating an overwhelming sense of achievement in the creation of the railroad, although the sense that 'Civilisation' may actually be a threat, developed in later Westerns, is already apparent with the saloon that doubles as a court of law, and a drunken judge.

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