THE IRON HORSE is an American Western silent film directed by John Ford. It stars George O’Brien and Madge Bellamy. In the early 1850s, a boy named Davy Brandon leaves town with his father in search of a shorter passage for the (still-theoretical) Overland Route. Davy’s dad indeed does discover a shorter route, through a gorge, but before he can pass this information along he’s attacked by a band of rogue Cheyenne, led by a white man with missing fingers, who murders him in front of his son.
The film presents an idealized image of the construction of the first American trans-continental railroad. It culminates with the scene of driving of the golden spike at Promontory Summit on May 10, 1869. In 2011, this film was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
Presented with live musical accompaniment by Dean Lemire on the Beverly Ruth Nelson Memorial Organ!