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Promotional poster for The Man from Blackwater, depicting an early artwork of protagonist John Marston.

Red Dead Redemption: The Man from Blackwater is a 2010 short film produced by Rockstar Games and based on the western action-adventure game Red Dead Redemption. It was directed by John Hillcoat and edited by Barry Alexander Brown, using cutscenes and gameplay footage from the game.


The Man from Blackwater was made entirely from the game engine of Red Dead Redemption. The majority of the film's scenes are lifted from the game, including several cutscenes that were recorded from alternate angles or with modified dialogues.

The rest of the short movie features shots of Marston walking, riding on horseback, and camping across the various landscapes that can be visited in Redemption.

The Man from Blackwater's running time is 29 minutes.


Premise and characters

The majority of the events depicted in The Man from Blackwater are taken from the game's first act, set in New Austin, 1911. John Marston, a former outlaw, is sent by the Bureau of Investigation - a precursor to the modern-day FBI - to capture his former brother in-arms, notorious criminal Bill Williamson. Throughout his adventures in New Austin, Marston allies himself with several figures.

Aside from Marston and Williamson, featured characters include Marshal Leigh Johnson, Sheriff of Armadillo; Jonah and Eli, Johnson's deputies; Nigel West Dickens, an elderly con-man; Seth Briars, a treasure hunter; Norman Deek, Williamson's second in command; and Irish, a shady thief and liar.

Minor characters such the Stranger character Jenny, duelist Aquila and Seth's partner Moses Forth also make an appearance, so do background NPCs and bounty targets such as Charlie Mash.


The Man from Blackwater sees John Marston teaming-up with Marshal Leigh Johnson to take down Bill Williamson and the Williamson gang. Over the course of the movie, Marston works with Marshal and his two deputies, Nigel West Dickens and Seth Briars with the ultimate goal of assaulting Fort Mercer, the Williamson gang's hideout.

Scenes depicted in the feature include:

  • Marston rescuing a wounded West Dickens in the desert and bringing him to Armadillo, taken from the mission "Old Swindler Blues".
  • Marston encounters Marshal Johnson and Jonah for the first time, taken from the mission "Political Realities in Armadillo".
  • An original scene of Marston scouting Fort Mercer before riding off.
  • The Ridgewood Farm massacre committed by the Williamson gang, taken from the mission "Spare the Rod, Spoil the Bandit".
  • The confrontation between Marston and Williamson, also taken from the aforementioned mission. It also includes an original scene of Williamson watching over the resulting gunfight before riding off with his men.
  • Marston encounters a sick Jenny, taken from the Stranger side-mission "Jenny's Faith".
  • West Dickens convinces Marston to help him in one of his schemes, taken from the mission "You Shall Not Give False Testimony, Except for Profit".
  • Marston meeting Seth for the first time, and their confrontation with Seth's former partner Moses Forth, taken from the mission "Exhuming and Other Fine Hobbies".
  • Marston and his newfound allies watch over Fort Mercer before storming into it, taken from the mission "The Assault on Fort Mercer". This final segment includes several changes, alterations and original scenes, including Marston chasing after Bill following the downfall of the Williamson gang. It also incorporates a scene from the mission "Let the Dead Bury Their Dead", in which Seth finds his treasure: a glass eye.
  • The closing scene shows Marston as he looks out the window of the Fort while Williamson makes an escape on a horse. This is an original scene not found in the game.


The Man from Blackwater originally aired on May 29th, 2010 at 12:00 am, Eastern & Pacific on FOX. It also aired on 5USA in the United Kingdom on June 5th, 2010 at 11:25 pm BST.

Shortly after airing in the UK, the film became available for download through Rockstar's Official Website and IGN's Official Website.


  • Cutscenes are not in chronological order as they are in the actual game, but they do tie together. For example, the map that Seth retrieves leads to Fort Mercer, however, in the game the map leads to Tumbleweed. And if in the game Bill ran off to Mexico a day before The Assault on Fort Mercer, in the movie John encounters him in the fort's cellar and shoots his way through to the main hall, only for Bill to escape and Seth finding the Glass Eye in one of the rooms on the second floor (the cellar, main hall and cutscene with Seth being from Let the Dead Bury Their Dead mission).
  • The title, The Man From Blackwater, may be a reference to the movie, The Man from Laramie.
  • In the game, Marston's initial weapon is a Cattleman Revolver and he starts off in the game wearing the Cowboy Outfit. In The Man From Blackwater, his weapon of choice is a LeMat Revolver (except for the scenes where Aquila challenges him to shoot his hat out of the air and when he disarms Aquila after drawing his pistol) and he wears the Duster Coat through most of the film.


Video provided by IGN Official YouTube Channel.