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The Titfield Thunderbolt (1953)

 -  Comedy  -  20 October 1953 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,429 users  
Reviews: 40 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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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
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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:

A one way trip from here to hilarity! 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

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Sam Weech: They can't close our line, it's unthinkable
Gordon: What about the old Canterbury-Whitstable line? They closed that.
Sam Weech: Perhaps there were not men of sufficient faith in Canterbury.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Oh Doctor Beeching!: Ton Up (1997) 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

No longer lost in the mists of times-gone-bye!
30 April 2003 | by (Portland, Oregon) – See all my reviews

I remember seeing this many years ago on a TV broadcast and was delighted with that inimitable brand of English wit that transported me to a countryside and a wonderful group of people who were so uniquely British and so utterly fascinating to a young American who was (and is) unendingly interested in what else there is in the world beyond the borders of the continental U.S.A. Now at last viewers in the U.S. can obtain this film as part of a DVD collection, amidst a few other British comedy classics, redeeming its from its long neglect in the vaults.

Reading the other comments that have been posted by those who reside in Great Britain, it's distressing to read that the depredations of the big money men laid waste traditions and conveniences that at one time so enhanced daily life there. You probably know about the parallels here where vast networks of rail communications and transport, including many minimally polluting streetcar lines in many U.S. cities were intentionally destroyed by those whose motive was short-term profit and the enrichment of the Detroit automakers and their nefarious bedfellows, the oil company executives, who even today are assisting in embroiling both of our nations in horrendously costly and destructive conflicts (notwithstanding that there may, indeed, be some reasons for protecting ourselves against the mounting threats of technologically-assisted terror.)

One thing I do recall about this film was the incredibly beautiful use of "Colour by Technicolor." Hollywood cinematographers, at their best, rarely matched what their English counterparts often achieved. (Was there something about the addition of the letter "u" in that first word?) I've seen many others of the most famous Ealing comedies and every one of them was an entertainment experience that I savored then and to which I often return on those preciously available VHS tapes in my library (which can be slipped into my non-PAL format equipment). Cheers! and Thanksalot!


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