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The residents of a small English village are about to lose their ancient railroad. They decide to rescue it by running it themselves, in competition with the local bus company. Written by
Blair Stannard <email@example.com>
The role of the pre-accident locomotive #1401 was played by two separate 14XX locomotives, facing in opposite directions to allow as much filming as possible. #1401 starred as herself while #1450 masqueraded as her sister with identical number-plates. Though #1401 was later scrapped, #1450 was preserved and today operates on steam railways throughout Britain. See more »
During the trial the chimney on the saloon coach changes sides from right to left and back again in comparison to the Titfield Thunderbolt. The coach obviously was turned around during filming and pulled the other way. See more »
They can't close our line, it's unthinkable
What about the old Canterbury-Whitstable line? They closed that.
Perhaps there were not men of sufficient faith in Canterbury.
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For my money this is the best and funniest of all the 'Ealing Comedies', it is so quintessentially post war British that it could not have been made by any other than Ealing Studios. The plot is simple - British Railways decide to close a local branch line and a group of villagers led by the local squire and vicar battle government red tape and the local bus company to run their own railway, eventually using an ancient locomotive (Thunderbolt) from the museum to pull their train. The character acting is superb as is the beautifully photographed scenery, but what makes this film stand by itself is that it does not rely on sex and violence (well only hammed up - such as the unforgettable joust between a railway locomotive and Sid James's steam roller)and no bad language. It is a reminder of a long departed much simpler and more idealistic age where its message of right would eventually overcome wrong, was almost believable. It is a very gentle film, an innocent film, and despite its age still manages to deliver a feel good factor of 10/10.
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