Part documentary and part avant-garde, this renowned city symphony was filmed by Jay Leyda when he was 21. It features sensational and stylish use of European filmmaking styles. The images movingly show the resilience of people persevering with style and enthusiasm during the early years of the Depression. "A Bronx Morning" won Leyda a scholarship to study with the renowned Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein. Named to the National Film Registry in 2004.
Considered the first narrative film, "The Great Train Robbery" was directed and photographed by Edwin S. Porter, a former cameraman for the Thomas Edison Company. Primitive by modern standards, the 10-minute action picture depicts 14 distinct scenes filmed at various locales in New Jersey intended to represent the American West. 'Broncho Billy' Anderson, the screen's first Western star, played several roles in the film, including a bandit and a train passenger. Audiences were thrilled and terrified to watch a gunman in medium close-up fire directly at the screen in the film's final scene ... although Porter suggested to exhibitors it could just as easily be shown at the beginning of the film instead. Named to the National Film Registry in 1990.
"New York City's Subway railroad was opened to public travel on the above date. The contract for the present Subway was awarded December 18, 1897, and work was commenced March 24, 1900. The picture opens with Mayor McClellan, City Officials, State Senators, Congressmen and railroad officials leaving the City Hall and entering the Subway station. A panoramic view of City Hall Park and surroundings, with the crowds in the background, is next shown. Then follows an interior view of the Brooklyn Bridge Station. Express and local trains are arriving and departing, including the official inspection train with President August Belmont's private car with a party of officials and invited guests. 300 ft."--Edison films catalog