The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat


1 min     7.104     1897     France


Likely in June 1897, a group of people are standing along the platform of a railway station in La Ciotat, waiting for a train. One is seen coming, at some distance, and eventually stops at the platform. Doors of the railway-cars open and attendants help passengers off and on. Popular legend has it that, when this film was shown, the first-night audience fled the café in terror, fearing being run over by the "approaching" train. This legend has since been identified as promotional embellishment, though there is evidence to suggest that people were astounded at the capabilities of the Lumières' cinématographe.


Zepfanman wrote:
This famous film was ACTUALLY MADE IN 1897, Lumière catalogue #653: People have studied the age of the Lumière children from several of their Ciotat train films and this uncatalogued version is more likely from 1896: With that aside, the 4K restoration from the 2015 Blu-ray of the 1897 film is gorgeous! The Lumière brothers were masters of perspective and framing.