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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Writer T.E.B. Clarke ("Tibby") was inspired to write the Titfield Thunderbolt saga after a 1951 visit to the volunteer-operated Talyllyn Railway, which carries passengers along the Cambrian coast between Tywyn and Abergynolwyn, in Wales. "The Titfield Thunderbolt" reflects Clarke's fascination with the volunteers' preservationist spirit there. See more »
In the last sequence, some men are playing cricket as the Titfield Thunderbolt makes its winning run to Mallingford. Abandoning their game, they rush to the embankment to see the train go by. The scene shows the batsman at the crease being distracted as the train appears in the distance, and being clean bowled as a result. However, although the bails on the wicket fall to the ground, the ball bowled by the bowler clearly sails more than a foot above the wicket. See more »
[proposing a toast]
Our magnificent generals, General Gordon and General Booth.
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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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