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The Titfield Thunderbolt (1953)

 -  Comedy  -  20 October 1953 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,431 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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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:

A Tin-and-Tonic special reels in from England! 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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The 'Thunderbolt' is a genuine veteran locomotive, its real name is 'Lion'. It was built for the Liverpool and Manchester railway in 1838, making it 115 years old when it was used in the film. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Mrs Valentine: Do you know what time it is?
Valentine: Yes, my love: summer double time.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Unforgettable Sid James (2000) 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

 
An underestimated film that has aged very well
4 January 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is a comedy with many of the traditional Ealing attributes - whimsy, cheerfulness, small-versus-big storyline - but it has aged far better than many of its sister titles from Ealing. This is because the film was made in rural England just before it changed forever. It features beautiful locations (around Bath in Somerset) and a stereotypical village of characters which must have seemed very normal in 1953, but which hardly exist today. I have seen this film many many times, but I have never got bored by it. It has taken on a new power over the last twenty years and it has undoubtedly grown in popularity. Why? It is a portrait of a lost world, where people greeted each other in the street, where trains ran (on time) through villages, where cars did not rule every road. The Titfield Thunderbolt, of all films, predicted back in 1953 what would happen if we got rid of our railways

  • and look how tragically it has been proved right. Watch this film as


a window on that lost world, but don't forget to laugh! It is a great little comedy: fast paced, energetically acted, beautifully shot by Douglas Slocombe and directed with brio by Charles Crichton. Recommended to all.

For what it's worth, here are my top 8 Ealing Comedies. Pole position was easy, thereafter was hard:

1) Kind Hearts and Coronets 2) The Lavender Hill Mob 3) Whisky Galore 4) The Titfield Thunderbolt 5) The Man in the White Suit 6) The Ladykillers 7) Passport to Pimlico 8) Hue and Cry


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