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The Titfield Thunderbolt (1953)

 |  Comedy  |  20 October 1953 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,637 users  
Reviews: 43 user | 16 critic

Volunteers take over their local passenger train service (against bus company resistance) when the government announces its closure.

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(original screenplay)
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Title: The Titfield Thunderbolt (1953)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Valentine
George Relph ...
Weech
Naunton Wayne ...
Blakeworth
John Gregson ...
Gordon
Godfrey Tearle ...
The Bishop
...
Dan
Gabrielle Brune ...
Joan
Sidney James ...
Hawkins
Reginald Beckwith ...
Coggett
Edie Martin ...
Emily
Michael Trubshawe ...
Ruddock
...
Vernon Crump (as Jack McGowran)
Ewan Roberts ...
Alec Pearce
Herbert C. Walton ...
Seth
John Rudling ...
Clegg
Edit

Storyline

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 <stannard@sonetis.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Full steam ahead for this comedy classic! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 October 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blixten från Titfield  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)| (Gaumont Kalee Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Valentine: [proposing a toast] Our magnificent generals, General Gordon and General Booth.
See more »


Soundtracks

The Eton Boating Song
(uncredited)
Music by Algernon Drummond
Lyrics by William Johnson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Thumbs up for the 'Thunderbolt'
30 November 2003 | by (Oxford, England) – See all my reviews

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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