Director Edwin S. Porter created film history when he completed the 13 sequences for the Great Train Robbery, released in 1903 but based on an 1896 story by Scott Marble. The film's title was also the same as a popular, contemporary… More Director Edwin S. Porter created film history when he completed the 13 sequences for the Great Train Robbery, released in 1903 but based on an 1896 story by Scott Marble. The film's title was also the same as a popular, contemporary stage melodrama. Outstanding for the first parallel development of separate, simultaneous scenes (intercutting), and the first close-up (of an outlaw firing off a shot right at the audience), the Great Train Robbery is among the earliest narrative films with a "Western" setting - although when it was released it was considered a part of the violent crime genre that dominated the movie screens. "Westerns" would come later. The opening scenes show the outlaws holding up the passengers and robbing the mail car in the train, and then they escape on horseback. While the early action is going on, Porter cuts to the telegraph operator who is knocked unconscious, with the train visible through the station window. Then there is a fight on the tender and the train is also visible, and it is shown again on the tracks when the locomotive is unhooked from the rest of the cars, and from the interior when the passengers are robbed - the train constantly provides a point of reference from different perspectives. The telegraph operator regains consciousness after the outlaws have galloped off, and he makes it to the dance hall to get a posse together. In the final sequences, the posse takes off to hunt down the outlaws and the chase is on, ending in the defeat of the robbers. In a total of 12 minutes of screen time, Porter changed the way films were made for all future time, he established several classic Western themes (the chase on horseback, use of the six-shooter), and he took advantage of every known dramatic technique for his day. For example, he modeled segments of his action on current crimes that had been in the news and he exploited the railway subgenre and the public's interest in train travel. The film was successful for years after it was released, a testament to Porter's cinematographic talents.