7.2/10
2,041
46 user 15 critic

The Titfield Thunderbolt (1953)

Not Rated | | Comedy | 20 October 1953 (USA)
Volunteers take over their local passenger train service (against bus company resistance) when the government announces its closure.

Director:

Writer:

(original screenplay)
Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy
    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
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 7.7/10 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
Whisky Galore (1949)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 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
Genevieve (1953)
Comedy
    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
    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
Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi
    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
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
Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An English village is occupied by disguised German paratroopers as an advance post for a planned invasion.

Director: Alberto Cavalcanti
Stars: Leslie Banks, C.V. France, Valerie Taylor
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Five diverse oddball criminal types planning a bank robbery rent rooms on a cul-de-sac from an octogenarian widow under the pretext that they are classical musicians.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers, Cecil Parker
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The bigamist captain of a ferry boat between the restricted British colony in Gibraltar and Spanish Morocco has a woman of differing appeal and temperament in each port.

Director: Anthony Kimmins
Stars: Alec Guinness, Yvonne De Carlo, Celia Johnson
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 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
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Valentine
George Relph ...
Weech
Naunton Wayne ...
Blakeworth
...
Gordon
Godfrey Tearle ...
The Bishop
...
Dan
Gabrielle Brune ...
Joan
...
Hawkins
Reginald Beckwith ...
Coggett
...
Emily
Michael Trubshawe ...
Ruddock
...
Vernon Crump (as Jack McGowran)
...
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:

The Comedy Hit of the Year! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

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:

(Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Before deciding on the Camerton branch, also used previously for Arnold Ridley's The Ghost Train (1931), various other lines were considered, including the former East Kent and Kent & East Sussex. Both of these former Colonel Stephens' railways have been preserved in part and now operate as privately-owned Heritage railways. 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

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

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


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

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?