The Titfield Thunderbolt (1953)

 |  Comedy  |  20 October 1953 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,760 users  
Reviews: 44 user | 16 critic

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



(original screenplay)
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Residents of a part of London declare independence, when they discover an old treaty. This leads to the need for a 'Passport to Pimlico'.

Director: Henry Cornelius
Stars: Stanley Holloway, Betty Warren, Barbara Murray
Whisky Galore (1949)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Scottish islanders try to plunder 50,000 cases of whisky from a stranded ship.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Basil Radford, Joan Greenwood, Catherine Lacey
Hue and Cry (1947)
Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A gang of street boys foil a master crook who sends commands for robberies by cunningly altering a comic strip's wording each week, unknown to writer and printer. The first of the Ealing ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Crichton
Stars: Alastair Sim, Frederick Piper, Harry Fowler
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A meek bank clerk who oversees the shipment of bullion joins with an eccentric neighbor to steal gold bars and smuggle them out of the country as miniature Eiffel Towers.

Director: Charles Crichton
Stars: Alec Guinness, Stanley Holloway, Sidney James
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Chaos ensues for staff and students alike when an all-boys and an all-girls school are amalgamated into one.

Director: Frank Launder
Stars: Alastair Sim, Margaret Rutherford, John Turnbull
High and Dry (1954)
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An American businessman in Scotland is conned into shipping a valuable load of cargo to a Scottish island via a coal powered boat.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Paul Douglas, Alex Mackenzie, James Copeland
Comedy | Sci-Fi | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An altruistic chemist invents a fabric which resists wear and stain as a boon to humanity, but both big business and labor realize it must be suppressed for economic reasons.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Alec Guinness, Joan Greenwood, Cecil Parker
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

These schoolgirls are more interested in racing forms than books as they try to get-rich-quick. They are abetted by the head-mistress' brother, played by Alastair Sim, who also plays the head-mistress.

Director: Frank Launder
Stars: Alastair Sim, Joyce Grenfell, George Cole
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A naive aristocrat in search of a career becomes caught up in the struggles between his profit-minded uncle and an aggressive labour union.

Director: John Boulting
Stars: Ian Carmichael, Terry-Thomas, Peter Sellers
Genevieve (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

It's time for the annual London to Brighton antique car rally, and Alan McKim and Ambrose Claverhouse are not going to let their friendship stop them from trying to humiliate each other. ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Cornelius
Stars: Dinah Sheridan, John Gregson, Kay Kendall
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Stanley Windrush has to interrupt his university education when he is called up towards the end of the war. He quickly proves himself not to be officer material. This leads him to meets up ... See full summary »

Director: John Boulting
Stars: Ian Carmichael, Ronald Adam, Henry B. Longhurst
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A distant poor relative of the Duke of D'Ascoyne plots to inherit the title by murdering the eight other heirs who stand ahead of him in the line of succession.

Director: Robert Hamer
Stars: Dennis Price, Alec Guinness, Valerie Hobson


Cast overview, first billed only:
George Relph ...
Naunton Wayne ...
John Gregson ...
Godfrey Tearle ...
The Bishop
Gabrielle Brune ...
Sidney James ...
Reginald Beckwith ...
Edie Martin ...
Michael Trubshawe ...
Vernon Crump (as Jack McGowran)
Ewan Roberts ...
Alec Pearce
Herbert C. Walton ...
John Rudling ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Comedy Hit of the Year! See more »




See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 October 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blixten från Titfield  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)| (Gaumont Kalee Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The final scenes of Mallingford station were filmed at the Bath Road Bridge end of the main platform at Bristol Temple Meads station, Bristol, UK. See more »


When Dan Taylor and Walter Valentine are handcuffed, the handcuff is on Dan's left hand. When the coach driver and assistant are handcuffed to Dan Walker and Walter Valentine, Dan is now handcuffed on his right hand. See more »


Sam Weech: We want the Titfield Thunderbolt.
George Blakeworth: Out of the museum?
Sam Weech: Yes, yes, she'll run. She's as good as she ever was. I'll stake my living on it!
See more »


Featured in Best of British: Ealing Comedies (1993) See more »


The Eton Boating Song
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!

30 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
No emphasis on Yoof! SueBee55
What is the film in the bar andrewberry73
Simon Winchester Book 'The Map That Changed the World' gkizer
Paradise Express (1937) NewtonFigg
Discuss The Titfield Thunderbolt (1953) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: