MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 6,241 this week

Night Mail (1936)

6.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 698 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 6 critic

Shows the special train on which mail is sorted, dropped and collected on the run, and delivered in Scotland overnight.

Directors:

,

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 39 titles
created 13 Feb 2011
 
a list of 48 titles
created 18 Apr 2011
 
a list of 22 titles
created 03 May 2013
 
a list of 41 titles
created 07 Aug 2013
 
a list of 37 titles
created 3 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Night Mail" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Night Mail (1936)

Night Mail (1936) on IMDb 6.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Night Mail.

User Polls

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In this silent predecessor to the modern documentary, film-maker Robert J. Flaherty spends one year following the lives of Nanook and his family, Inuit living in the Arctic Circle.

Director: Robert J. Flaherty
Stars: Allakariallak, Nyla, Allee
Documentary | Sci-Fi | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

This film shows the disaster of the Kuwaitian oil fields in flames. In contrast to the common documentary film there are no comments and few interviews. What must have been the hell itself ... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Werner Herzog
Night and Fog (1955)
Documentary | Short | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The history of Nazi Germany's death camps of the Final Solution and the hellish world of dehumanization and death contained inside.

Director: Alain Resnais
Stars: Michel Bouquet, Reinhard Heydrich, Heinrich Himmler
Documentary | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In Chile's Atacama Desert, astronomers peer deep into the cosmos in search for answers concerning the origins of life. Nearby, a group of women sift through the sand searching for body ... See full summary »

Director: Patricio Guzmán
Stars: Gaspar Galaz, Lautaro Núñez, Luís Henríquez
Salesman (1968)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Four relentless door-to-door salesmen deal with constant rejection, homesickness and inevitable burnout as they go across the country selling very expensive bibles to low-income Catholic families.

Directors: Albert Maysles, David Maysles, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Paul Brennan, Charles McDevitt, James Baker
Documentary | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

From 1940 to 1944, France's Vichy government collaborated with Nazi Germany. Marcel Ophüls mixes archival footage with 1969 interviews of a German officer and of collaborators and ... See full summary »

Director: Marcel Ophüls
Stars: Georges Bidault, Matthäus Bleibinger, Charles Braun
Turksib (1929)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Director: Victor A. Turin
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An intimate, picaresque inquiry into French life as lived by the country's poor and its provident, as well as by the film's own director, Agnes Varda. The aesthetic, political and moral ... See full summary »

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: François Wertheimer, Agnès Varda, Bodan Litnanski
Man of Aran (1934)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In this blend of documentary and fictional narrative from pioneering filmmaker Robert Flaherty, the everyday trials of life on Ireland's unforgiving Aran Islands are captured with attention to naturalistic beauty and historical detail.

Director: Robert J. Flaherty
Stars: Colman 'Tiger' King, Maggie Dirrane, Michael Dirrane
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Regen (1929)
Short | Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Rain falls on a Dutch city.

Directors: Mannus Franken, Joris Ivens
Drifters (1929)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Director: John Grierson
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Arthur Clark ...
Engineer
John Grierson ...
Commentary
Stuart Legg ...
Commentary
Robert Rae ...
Senior Driver - LMS Railway
Edit

Storyline

Shows the special train on which mail is sorted, dropped and collected on the run, and delivered in Scotland overnight.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

scotland | train | mail | working | railway | See All (19) »

Genres:

Short | Documentary

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 January 1936 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Courrier de nuit  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Visatone Marconi)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The shots of the interior of the carriage where the mail is sorted were filmed in a studio. An impression of movement was given by gently swinging the string that was hanging down from the top of the sorting boxes before each shot was filmed and telling the postal workers to walk with a rolling gait. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A unique glimpse of postal services in 1936
27 February 2009 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Made in 1936 (in black and white of course) NIGHTMAIL has become an icon of the British documentary movement. The budget was only £2,000 and the film was made as a promotional film for the Post Office services. The GPO film unit deserves a posthumous Oscar.

The quality of directing, lighting and camera work in this documentary beats that of many of today's films and brings an almost Hitchcockian atmosphere and tension to the screen.

This is the story of the Travelling Post office from Euston station in London to Glasgow in Scotland, in the days when the railways were efficient, frequent and run by proud workers who wore waistcoats, ties and hats and spoke politely to one another like the team that they were. It is surprising how old the men all seem now, in these days of youth culture, gentle character-full faces bearing no guile, tired and lined but proud and honest. The journey begins with the great spoutings of steam and turning of oiled wheels and the sound of banging doors, cries and whistles that emanate from all mainline stations and follows the trains from station to station throughout the night as they pick up mail along the way. A weird and wonderful Heath-Robinson device had been invented whereby bundles of post could be hurled onto a moving train as it passed through the station, propelled from a rope net on a pulley with such precise timing that it would land with a forceful thud onto the moving train. Long before emails and mobile phones had been dreamt of the only means of co-ordinating the system and ensuring safe delivery was the telephone, and this was used to perfect effect as the arrival of the Night Mail train would be phoned through from one station to the next down the line, accurate to the last minute, this being essential for the bundle to be aimed and "fired" at the right moment by those on the look-out. Rushing through sleeping towns and landscapes, main stations and rural ones, the efficiency of the Travelling Post Office and the men who worked on it throughout the night to get the post to its destination is awe inspiring. There is nothing mundane about it – it almost has a spiritual quality about it not dissimilar to the night-life photographs of Brassai.

The ultimate section of the film is positively inspired, when the score by Benjamin Britten is combined with the words of W. H. Auden in time to the sounds and rhythms of the train, making one want nothing more than to be on that train, to be part of the workforce, to be part of the team that works for the Night Mail that delivers the post to letterboxes all across England. It evokes the England of John Betjeman and of Alan Bennet, of strong tea and washing on lines, of lonely sheep and flint walls, of industrial chimneys and cloth caps, of invention and hard-work, of grand-fathers and family reunions, of childhood and of old age, when the work is done and stories are told of how it was.


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Night Mail (1936) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?