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List of Western films before 1920

A list of the earliest Western films, by decade, released before 1920.



These exhibition films are silent shorts directed and produced by William K. L. Dickson at Thomas Edison's Black Maria studio, with William Heise as cinematographer. The performers in each film were members of Buffalo Bill's Wild West show with Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill themselves exhibiting their rifle shooting skills.[1] The two dances featured members of the Sioux nation who are believed to have been the first Native Americans to perform on film. The lasso thrower was Vicente Oropeza and the stuntmen staging the knife fight were Pedro Esquivel and Dionecio Gonzales. Two real-life rodeo riders, Lee Martin and Frank Hammitt, featured in Bucking Broncho, which was filmed outside the studio.[2]


  • A Frontier Scene (aka Lynching Scene)
  • Indian Scalping Scene

Both of these films, which were scenes only, are believed lost. They were made by Alfred Clark for the Edison Manufacturing Company.[3][4]


This is a two-minute silent film drama shot in Blackburn, Lancashire, England by Mitchell and Kenyon. It is the earliest known dramatic work in the genre.[5]

  • Cripple Creek Bar-room Scene
  • Poker at Dawson City

Both of these were scenes only, made by Canadian director James H. White.[citation needed]

  • A Bluff from a Tenderfoot

Filmed by Frederick S. Armitage for the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, this depicts a poker game and may be the first comedy western.[citation needed]



  • Stage Coach Hold-Up in the Days of '49 (Edison)



















See also


  1. ^ Leal, Juan Felipe (2010). Jablonska, Aleksandra (ed.). 1901: Segunda parte. El cine se difunde: Anales del Cine en México, 1895–1911. Juan Pablos editor, S.A. / D.R. Voyeur. pp. 201–202, 218, 262.
  2. ^ "Bucking broncho". Library of Congress. 1894. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  3. ^ Musser, Charles (1991). "Edison and the Kinetoscope". Before the Nickelodeon. University of California Press. p. 56. ISBN 978-05-20060-80-7.
  4. ^ Bond, David (28 August 2018). "Early Film Pioneers: Alfred Clark and the Birth of the Historical Reconstruction Film". Films by the Year. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  5. ^ Low, Valentine (31 October 2019). "First western was shot in Blackburn, claims researcher". The Times. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
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List of Western films before 1920
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