The Engineer's Romance (1910)

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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

Having risen to prominence with The Great Train Robbery, the Edison studios continued turning out "railroad" pictures for the remainder of its existence. In The Engineer's Romance, the titular engineer saves his heroine from a gang of train robbers. By 1910, filmgoers had become sophisticated enough to recognize fakery, thus most producers used genuine exterior locations rather than painted backdrops. In this film, however, painted scenery is utilized throughout, not only undermining the film's credibility but also its thrill quotient. One reviewer for the trade magazine Variety dismissed the picture out of hand, while noting it was typical of the slipshod Edison product of the period.