World first Western movie to film in Blackburn

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The world’s first Western movie, shot in the countryside of Lancashire in the United Kingdom, will be filmed in Blackburn.

Kidnapping by Indians was filmed in 1899, four years before The Great Train Robbery, which until now was widely seen as the genre’s first film.

Film buff Jamie Holman made the link to Lancashire in a study of records by the British Film Institute (BFI).

Mr Holman said the information, which showed a filming location close to Blackburn, was “hiding in plain sight”.

The one-minute movie is now due to be shown in a public screening in the town, which was once home to the pioneering film makers Mitchell and Kenyon.

Mr Holman, who has researched links between the cotton industry and film history, said: “Blackburn had links to the Wild West.

“Cotton workers had worked in the USA and they told stories of the wild frontier.

“Mitchell and Kenyon would have been aware of the appetite for the Wild West at the time. Many of the stereotypes are there: the head-dress; the tomahawks.”

 

Olusola Akintonde