The Man from Blackwater is a 29-minute short film animated entirely using the game engine of the Red Dead Redemption. It originally aired on May 29th, 2010 at 12:00 am, Eastern & Pacific on FOX. Later airing 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.


The year is 1910. The West is dying. The American frontier is undergoing a violent transition from the ways of old to modern times, and Mexico has entered a prolonged period of bloody civil war. Reformed outlaw John Marston is on his way to capturing his former running buddy Bill Williamson when he comes upon a half dead snake oil merchant named West Dickens. Marston travels under a bleak and unforgiving sun, teaming up with a violent sheriff and a colorful mentally deranged grave robber and together they discover a bloody massacre of homesteaders left in the wake of Williamson. They hatch a plan to break into an abandoned fort where the Williamson Gang is holed up - and a dark, surprising twist ensues.


The film depicts most of the major plot events of the first act of Red Dead Redemption. The film heavily reuses cutscenes from the game, though sometimes recorded from alternate angles or with slightly different conversations. Shots of John Marston in various locations walking, riding his horse, or camping with musical interludes or sometimes voiceover by John are used to connect the scenes together.

Characters seen include Marshal Johnson and his deputies; Jonah and Eli, Nigel West Dickens, Seth Briars, and Bill Williamson. Irish makes an extremely brief non-speaking appearance as his story thread is left from the film, as well as everything including the MacFarlanes. They are not seen in the movie. 


Video provided by IGN Official YouTube Channel.

Red Dead Redemption Short Film by John Hillcoat

Red Dead Redemption Short Film by John Hillcoat

Video provided by IGN Official YouTube Channel.


  • The cut scenes 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.
  • The title, The Man From Blackwater, may be a reference to the movie, The Man from Laramie.
  • In the game, Marston's weapon of choice 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.
  • The flashback scenes involving John and Dutch's Gang were made exclusively for this film and never appear in the game itself.