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The Iron Horse (1924)

Passed | | History, Romance, Western | 4 October 1925 (USA)
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.

Director:

John Ford (uncredited)

Writers:

Charles Kenyon (story), John Russell (story) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
George O'Brien ... Dave Brandon
Madge Bellamy ... Miriam Marsh
Charles Edward Bull Charles Edward Bull ... Lincoln
Cyril Chadwick Cyril Chadwick ... Jesson
Will Walling ... Thomas Marsh
Francis Powers ... Sgt. Slattery
J. Farrell MacDonald ... Cpl. Casey (as J. Farrell Macdonald)
Jim Welch Jim Welch ... Pvt. Schultz / Pvt. Mackay (as James Welch)
George Waggner George Waggner ... Buffalo Bill (as George Wagner)
Fred Kohler ... Deroux
James A. Marcus James A. Marcus ... Judge Haller (as James Marcus)
Gladys Hulette ... Ruby
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Storyline

Springfield, Illinois. Brandon, a surveyor, dreams of building a railway to the west, but Marsh, a contractor, is sceptical. Abraham Lincoln looks on as their children, Davy Brandon and Miriam Marsh, play together. Brandon sets off with Davy to survey a route. They discover a new pass which will shave 200 miles off the expected distance, but they are set upon by a party of Cheyenne. One of them, a white renegade with only two fingers on his right hand, kills Brandon and scalps him. Davy buries his father... Years pass. It is 1862 and Lincoln signs the bill authorizing construction of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railways. Marsh is principal contractor and Miriam is engaged to Jesson, the chief engineer... Crews of Chinese, Italians, and Irish work to build the railway while resisting Indian attack. When the pay train is delayed by Indian ambush, the Italians go on strike. Miriam persuades them to return to work... Marsh needs to find a shortcut through the Black Hills. To ... Written by David Steele

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

To Miss This Film Treat is to Hit Yourself a Blow in Self Denial That You Don't Deserve. (Print Ad- Appleton Post-Crescent,((Appleton, Wisc.)) 19 October 1925) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 October 1925 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Iron Trail See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$280,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fox Film Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

Black and White (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The kitchen staff for the film was made up largely of Chinese cooks. Some of them had been workers on the transcontinental railroad in 1869, the same construction project that forms the basis of this film. See more »

Goofs

Snow all over the girl disappears by the time she goes through the gate with her father. See more »

Quotes

Thomas Marsh: [after he older Brandon has verbalized his dream of a trancontinental railroad] Poor dreamer - he's chasing a rainbow.
Lincoln: Yes, Tom - and some day men like you will be laying rails along that rainbow.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD release of this film contains two different edits, one for the American market and one for Europe. The American release is 16 minutes longer than the European cut. The American cut is dedicated to the memory of Abraham Lincoln while the European release is dedicated to the memory of George Stephenson. In the American release Fred Kohler's character is named Deroux while in the European cut his character is named Bauman. See more »

Connections

Featured in The American West of John Ford (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Blow the Man Down
(uncredited)
Traditional 19th Century Sea Chanty (1860s)
[Integrated into restoration score into divorce and going back to work scenes]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Man vs obstacles n the backbreaking hardwork but with the blood of the poor farmers.
22 October 2018 | by Fella_shibbySee all my reviews

This film was on my radar for a long time. Saw this few days back on a dvd. Fortunately it was a US version of 2 hours 29 mins but was a lil upset when I heard about the bluray release date set for November. I enjoy watching western films on blurays. This film is an epic about the creation of the first transcontinental railroad. The film portrayed the backbreaking hardwork, the toils of the men and the determination. George O'Brien plays the young man whose father was murdered for finding a shorter route through a gorge. O'Brien is adamant to fulfil his father's dream inspite of obstruction n a murder attempt. I was shocked to know that many poor farmers' land was usurped for the project n this was one of the reason for turning the James brothers into outlaws.


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