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The Railway Children (1970)

G  |   |  Family, Drama  |  26 December 1970 (UK)
7.4
Your rating:
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,567 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 13 critic

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.

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(celebrated novel), (screenplay)
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Title: The Railway Children (1970)

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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

The British Film Institute ranks this film as the 66th Best British Film of all time, the only children's film to make the list. See more »

Goofs

As the engine approaches Bobbie in the 'landslide sequence' and comes to a halt, drifting steam is seen coming down from the sky and entering its funnel, indicating the shot is actually reversed footage of the train backing away from Bobbie so as to not endanger the actress by attempting a precision stop inches away from her. See more »

Quotes

Bobbie Waterbury: There's going to be a paperchase tomorrow.
Phyllis Waterbury: Whippee!
Bobbie Waterbury: The boys from the grammar school are doing it.
Phyllis Waterbury: Zippee!
Bobbie Waterbury: Perks says we can go by the ramp.
Phyllis Waterbury: What's a paperchase?
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

Referenced in Red Dwarf: The Starbuggers - Series VI (2005) 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

 
Lionel Jeffries' Greatest Achievement
5 October 2004 | by (Manchester, England) – See all my reviews

I avoided this film as a boy because I thought it would be boring…no fights or shooting, cops, robbers, cowboys or Indians. It was definitely not a cool film to like. So I didn't see TRC until I was in my twenties and found it one of the most beautiful, captivating films I have seen. All the actors deliver the characterisations perfectly and each emotion is drawn from the viewer scene by scene. The filming and direction are deceptively simple but feel so natural and drew me completely into the story. My two favourite scenes are Bobbie's birthday party and the scene on the station platform near the end, directed and edited to perfection. The quality and phrasing of Jenny Agutter's voice when she calls: 'Daddy! My Daddy!' wrenches emotion from the viewer. Tears are welling in my eyes as I think of it.

This adaptation isn't just a movie it is a piece of precious art, as well as being the perfect example of what all film makers should be striving to achieve…creation of an emotional experience.


23 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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