The Iron Horse

The Iron Horse (1924) Director: John Ford


The Iron Horse is an entertaining picture with amazing shots. It captures many of the themes of classic western films and it is a good film worth seeing once for lovers of great works cinema. The quality of the film has deteriorated somewhat with time, but the cinematography is extraordinary. John Ford is a master of making motion pictures and The Iron Horse is an early example of his genius.

An early western epic, Ford’s The Iron Horse was a massive production. At two and a half hours of running time, it is an extended silent film, even though much of the film was unplanned during its production. It was filmed during a cold winter in the Nevada desert. Ford later said it was his favorite of his films.

The film tells a glamorized version of the building of the transcontinental railroad, through the confrontation of cultures: the Italians, the Irish, the Chinese laborers, American Indians. The star, George O’Brien, is best known for his lead role in F.W. Murnau’s Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans. Like a D.W. Griffith epic, the film romanticizes seedier elements of the American past, and it portrays President Lincoln as a god among men.

One thought on “The Iron Horse

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s