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HISTORY

Summary and credits are taken from the 1925 silent version, not the later eleven-reel, 10,424-foot sound version.
       Opening title card offers the following information: "Accurate and faithful in every particular of fact and atmosphere is this pictorial history of the building of the first transcontinental railroad." The film is dedicated "To the ever-living memory of Abraham Lincoln, the Builder--and of those dauntless engrinners and toilers who fulfilled his dream of a greater Nation." Title cards present the Forward: "During the Civil War the United States was divided not only into North and South--but also into East and West,by a seemingly impassable barrier of prairie, desert and mountain. More than to any other man, the Nation owes gratitude to Abraham Lincoln, whose vision and resolution held the North and the South while moulding with blood and with iron the East and the West."
       The working titles of this film were The Trans-Continental Railroad, The Transcontinental Railroad, and The Iron Trail .
       The Feb 1924 AMCin noted that the company was filming on location in Wadsworth, NV.
       The cast was also said to include "a regiment of U. S. troops and cavalry; 3,000 railway workmen; 1,000 Chinese laborers; 800 Pawnee, Sioux, and Cheyenne Indians; 2,800 horses; 1,300 buffalo; 10,000 Texas steers."
       Fox records indicate that Charles Kenyon may have been completely responsible for both scenario and ... More Less

Summary and credits are taken from the 1925 silent version, not the later eleven-reel, 10,424-foot sound version.
       Opening title card offers the following information: "Accurate and faithful in every particular of fact and atmosphere is this pictorial history of the building of the first transcontinental railroad." The film is dedicated "To the ever-living memory of Abraham Lincoln, the Builder--and of those dauntless engrinners and toilers who fulfilled his dream of a greater Nation." Title cards present the Forward: "During the Civil War the United States was divided not only into North and South--but also into East and West,by a seemingly impassable barrier of prairie, desert and mountain. More than to any other man, the Nation owes gratitude to Abraham Lincoln, whose vision and resolution held the North and the South while moulding with blood and with iron the East and the West."
       The working titles of this film were The Trans-Continental Railroad, The Transcontinental Railroad, and The Iron Trail .
       The Feb 1924 AMCin noted that the company was filming on location in Wadsworth, NV.
       The cast was also said to include "a regiment of U. S. troops and cavalry; 3,000 railway workmen; 1,000 Chinese laborers; 800 Pawnee, Sioux, and Cheyenne Indians; 2,800 horses; 1,300 buffalo; 10,000 Texas steers."
       Fox records indicate that Charles Kenyon may have been completely responsible for both scenario and story. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
7 Sep 1924.
---
Film Daily
19 Apr 1931
p. 10.
Moving Picture World
13 Sep 1924
p. 137.
Moving Picture World
28 Mar 1931
p. 37.
New Republic
26 Nov 1924
pp. 19-20.
New York Times
29 Aug 1924
p. 6.
New York Times
25 Apr 1931
pp. 81-82
Variety
3 Sep 1924
p. 23.
Variety
22 Apr 1931
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
William Fox Presents
A John Ford Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Addl photog
MUSIC
Mus score
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Iron Trail
The Trans-Continental Railroad
The Transcontinental Railroad
Release Date:
4 October 1925
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 28 August 1924
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
21 November 1924
Copyright Number:
LP20787
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
11,335
Length(in reels):
12
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Springfield, Illinois, Dave Brandon daydreams.
During the Civil War, President Lincoln signs a bill (Pacific Railroad Act of 1 July 1862) that authorizes the construction of a transcontinental railroad. When the war ends, Davy Brandon joins the Union Pacific as a surveyor and meets Miriam, his childhood sweetheart, whose father is in charge of construction. Davy and Peter Jesson, a civil engineer, fight over Miriam; and subsequently, Miriam refuses Davy's offer of marriage. When a band of Indians, led by the renegade Deroux, attack a construction train, Davy recognizes Deroux as his father's murderer and kills him in a hand-to-hand fight. Davy then joins the Central Pacific, which is racing the Union Pacific to the center of the continent. The joining of the two railroads by the golden spike is accompanied by the union of Davy and ... +


In Springfield, Illinois, Dave Brandon daydreams.
During the Civil War, President Lincoln signs a bill (Pacific Railroad Act of 1 July 1862) that authorizes the construction of a transcontinental railroad. When the war ends, Davy Brandon joins the Union Pacific as a surveyor and meets Miriam, his childhood sweetheart, whose father is in charge of construction. Davy and Peter Jesson, a civil engineer, fight over Miriam; and subsequently, Miriam refuses Davy's offer of marriage. When a band of Indians, led by the renegade Deroux, attack a construction train, Davy recognizes Deroux as his father's murderer and kills him in a hand-to-hand fight. Davy then joins the Central Pacific, which is racing the Union Pacific to the center of the continent. The joining of the two railroads by the golden spike is accompanied by the union of Davy and Miriam. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.