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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>
A wooden replica of "Lion" was made for the scene where "Thunderbolt" is removed from the museum. See more »
When the water crane has been sabotaged and the passengers have brought water to the engine, Mr. Valentine can be seen coming back to the train as the Squire gets back in the guard's van. In the next shot he is seen gathering the bottles he saved *before* coming back to the train. See more »
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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