Forget Hollywood. The world’s first Western was shot in the countryside near Blackburn Lancashire, new research has suggested.
Kidnapping By Indians was filmed in 1899, 4 years before The Great Train Robbery, which until now was widely seen as the genre’s first film.
Artist Jamie Holman made the link to Lancashire in a study of records by the British Film Institute.
Mr Holman said the information, which showed a filming location close to Blackburn, was “hiding in plain sight”.
The one-minute film is due to be shown in a public screening Blackburn, 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.”
This one-minute movie is due to be shown at a public screening in Blackburn, which was once home to film makers Mitchell and Kenyon.
Watch the film here https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-kidnapping-by-indians-1899-1899-online