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Summary

Porter's most violent expression of the conflict between constituted society and its outsiders. The outlaw band, with its apparently irrational desire to destroy all social order, is finally eliminated by a combined force of railroad personnel and select passengers. With order finally restored, a romance between the engineer and the switchman's daughter, introduced at the beginning of the film, resumes. Society is able to return to its proper preoccupations. THE TRAIN WRECKERS effectively demonstrates the need for social cohesion in a way that could serve as a prototype for future good-guy-versus-bad-guy conflicts. The film was extremely successful, selling 157 prints during 1905-6, and its narrative would be reworked six years later in one of D. W. Griffith's most successful Biograph films, THE GIRL AND HER TRUST (released March 28, 1912).

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