The Iron Horse (Ford, 1924)

The Iron Horse (John Ford, 1924)

At 2 ½ hours, this runs a bit long. A movie of this length isn’t usually an issue for me, but when the length is a result of entirely too much ‘museum material’, I couldn’t help but notice it. (Is this a real term? If not, I’m using this term to describe all the historical information that felt like one of those videos no one can ever sit through at a museum.) When the film stays focused on the actual story being told it’s a nice little tale of hard work and determination with a romantic side plot.

Very patriotic in its approach to the development of the Union and Central Pacific railroads, our protagonist wants nothing more than to see his late father’s dream of a railway to the west come true. He pursues this goal with everything he has even at the expense of his love life. From one angle we see him blow it, and put his extra energy into strengthening his craft. From the other angle we see her desire to continue being pursued and his inability to do so. It’s a poignant relationship especially in the way it relates to the large task at hand. Overall, has this been edited more vigorously, it could have been fantastic, but the good is mixed with the unnecessary too often.  7.5/10

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2 Responses to “The Iron Horse (Ford, 1924)”

  1. I agree with this review 100%. The Iron Horse is a good movie (especially for the impressive location shooting) but it is overlong and not as good as its reputation would suggest. The lesser known 3 Bad Men from the following year is Ford’s first real masterpiece.

    • chrisfilm Says:

      Funny you should mention that as I just watched it last night. 🙂 And I agree, it was fantastic.

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