7.4/10
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The Railway Children (1970)

After the enforced absence of their father, three children move with their mother to Yorkshire, where during their adventures they attempt to discover the reason for his disappearance.

Director:

Writers:

(celebrated novel), (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mrs. Waterbury (as Miss Dinah Sheridan)
...
Albert Perks (as Mr. Bernard Cribbins)
William Mervyn ...
Old Gentleman (as Mr. William Mervyn)
Iain Cuthbertson ...
Charles Waterbury (as Mr. Iain Cuthbertson)
...
Roberta 'Bobbie' Waterbury (as Miss Jenny Agutter)
Sally Thomsett ...
Phyllis Waterbury (as Miss Sally Thomsett)
Gary Warren ...
Peter Waterbury (as Master Gary Warren)
Peter Bromilow ...
Doctor
Ann Lancaster ...
Ruth
Gordon Whiting ...
Russian
Beatrix Mackey ...
Deddie Davies ...
David Lodge ...
Bandmaster
Christopher Witty ...
Jim
Brenda Cowling ...
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Storyline

The film opens in a happy, comfortable upper middle-class home in Edwardian London. One night in 1905, the three children see their father usher two strangers into his study. After an argument he leaves with them and does not return. They and their mother fall on hard times and eventually move to a cottage in the country. Yet they keep their spirits up and find ways to help others. Fascinated by the nearby railway, they wave to the passengers faithfully every day, and their vigilance and courage prevent an accident. Their kindness makes friends of some important people who can help solve the mystery of their missing father. Written by Paul Emmons <pemmons@wcupa.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What's the unexpected secret that turns their world upside down? See more »

Genres:

Family | Drama

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 December 1970 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Aseman lapset  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Lionel Jeffries chose to use the real name Oakworth (the station where most of the film was shot), changing the name from Meadow Vale as used in E. Nesbit's original novel. See more »

Goofs

The rail-level shot of the train approaching the children in the 'landslide sequence' is a different location to the remainder of the scene, having been shot at the northern portal of the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway's Mytholmes Tunnel, with the parapets of Mytholmes viaduct visible in the middle-distance - the remainder of the scene was filmed several hundred yards further along the line in visibly different surroundings. See more »

Quotes

Phyllis Waterbury: It's like we're in a besieged castle, the arrows of the foe striking against the battlements.
Peter Waterbury: No, it's more like a great big garden squirt.
Phyllis Waterbury: You're a great big garden squirt.
Peter Waterbury: Thank you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the end credit captions are displayed the shot tracks towards a steam locomotive, in front of which are gathered the principal cast. They are surrounded by extras portraying local townspeople, who wave and say goodbye to the audience. All the while, Jenny Agutter is preoccupied with writing something on a slate. As the camera reaches her, she holds it up to display the words "The End". See more »

Connections

Featured in The Golden Age of Steam Railways: Branching Out (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Pretty Polly Perkins of Paddington Green
(uncredited)
Written by Harry Clifton
Performed by Perks at the birthday party
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Simply perfect!
5 May 2005 | by (Durham) – See all my reviews

Perhaps once in a generation a film comes along that is perfection. For me, "The Railway Children" is that film - a timeless classic that was directed and performed most beautifully. It depicts all that is worthwhile in humanity and climaxes in the conquest of love and faith over cruel injustice. Every performance is a gem, though Bobbie stands out and, like Judy Garland as Dorothy before her, Jenny Agutter makes it impossible for us to imagine anyone else in the role.

The world is all the better for this film and the children of today would be much the better for watching it.

Of course, like so many young men of my generation, I fell hopelessly in love with Jenny Agutter and her hold was as strong when I had the great good fortune to meet her a few days ago - the bewitching smile and voice like dripping honey were still there to send me weak at the knees as they first did all those years ago!


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