Friday, May 7, 2010

The Iron Horse

The Iron Horse is a silent western from 1924, and as difficult as those films can be to sit through, it is significant in that it is legendary director John Ford's first big cast, big budget film, and it is interesting in that you can see the foundations of his themes and methods alive on the screen in this early film. The film details the building of the American railroads, as one man sees his dream of cross country travel come to life. Leonard Maltin said that this is the movie that invented many of film's early cliches, and so it is awash in many hackneys to be. However, the black and white film is illuminous for its time and there is plenty to behold to make this a worthwhile cinematic endeavor, as well as an insight into a great director's early work.