MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 1,385 this week

The Railway Children (1970)

G  |   |  Family, Drama  |  26 December 1970 (UK)
7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,572 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.

Director:

Writers:

(celebrated novel), (screenplay)
0Check in
0Share...

IMDb Picks: June

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in June, brought to you by Swiffer.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 29 titles
created 17 May 2012
 
a list of 36 titles
created 01 Feb 2014
 
a list of 25 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 39 titles
created 6 months ago
 
a list of 29 titles
created 5 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Railway Children (1970)

The Railway Children (1970) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Railway Children.
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

On holiday with their mother in the Lake District in 1929 four children are allowed to sail over to the nearby island in their boat Swallow and set up camp for a few days. They soon realise... See full summary »

Director: Claude Whatham
Stars: Virginia McKenna, Ronald Fraser, Simon West
The Wombles (TV Series 1973)
Animation | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The misadventures of a fantasy folk community dedicated to cleaning up litter and put it to their own use.

Stars: Bernard Cribbins, Dieter Hallervorden
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An apprentice witch, three kids and a cynical conman search for the missing component to a magic spell useful to the defense of Britain.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Angela Lansbury, David Tomlinson, Roddy McDowall
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

This children's fantasy tells the story of a 12-year-old boy who discovers a complex underwater world where young children are held prisoner by an evil shark and an eel.

Director: Lionel Jeffries
Stars: James Mason, Bernard Cribbins, Billie Whitelaw
Wombling Free (1977)
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

The adventures of The Wombles, strange creatures who live on Wimbledon Common and pick up the litter left by the humans. There's always time for a nice song and dance as well. This was a ... See full summary »

Director: Lionel Jeffries
Stars: David Tomlinson, Frances de la Tour, Bonnie Langford
The BFG (1989)
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Sophie is snatched from her orphanage early one morning by the BFG (Big Friendly Giant), whom she witnesses engaged in mysterious activities, and whisked away to Giant Country. She is soon ... See full summary »

Director: Brian Cosgrove
Stars: David Jason, Amanda Root, Angela Thorne
Catweazle (1970–1971)
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Catweazle is a magician from the time of the Normans who is cast into the future by magic. With the help of two boys he uses magic in an attempt to return to his own time.

Stars: Geoffrey Bayldon, Robin Davies, Charles 'Bud' Tingwell
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A down-on-his-luck inventor turns a broken-down Grand Prix car into a fancy vehicle for his children, and then they go off on a magical fantasy adventure to save their grandfather in a far-off land.

Director: Ken Hughes
Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes, Lionel Jeffries
Oliver! (1968)
Drama | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Musical adaptation about an orphan who runs away from an orphanage and hooks up with a group of boys trained to be pickpockets by an elderly mentor.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Mark Lester, Ron Moody, Shani Wallis
Amy (1981)
Family | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A woman leaves her husband after the death of her child to teach deaf children how to speak. Her own child was deaf and although she has no formal training she successfully teaches one boy.

Director: Vincent McEveety
Stars: Jenny Agutter, Barry Newman, Kathleen Nolan
Family | Mystery | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A mysterious, very old solicitor Mr. Blunden visits Mrs. Allen and her young children in her squalid, tiny Camden Town flat and makes her an offer she cannot refuse. The family become the ... See full summary »

Director: Lionel Jeffries
Stars: Laurence Naismith, Graham Crowden, Dorothy Alison
Family | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Great uncle sells the lodge, buys himself a used car lot and calls himself Arfur Dailey.

Director: Niall Johnson
Stars: Jon Newman, Prunella Scales, Marc Danbury
Edit

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 ...
Edit

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 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The late Bob Cryer, his wife Ann Cryer and son John were all extras during the filming on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway. Labour MP Bob Cryer was a prime mover in restoring the historic railway, and played the train guard. In the final scene, Bernard Cribbins can be heard to say "Right away, Mr Cryer" before the the train pulls out. Likewise, Graham Mitchell, another volunteer, played a train guard in other scenes and Bernard Cribbins again referred to him by name. See more »

Goofs

When the children run down the meadow towards the railway line (near the end of the film) you can clearly see a white car going along a road towards the top of the screen. This film is set in 1905. See more »

Quotes

Bobbie Waterbury: It's Perks's birthday, he's 42, he says he got other things to keep than his birthday, not rabbits and secrets but the kids and the bloomin' missus.
Mrs. Waterbury: Wife and children Bobbie.
Bobbie Waterbury: Same thing isn't it?
Phyllis Waterbury: Bloomin' missus is a sort of a germ of endearment isn't it?
Mrs. Waterbury: Term of endearment Phil.
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 »


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

 
everyone's favourite Yorkshire-set steam train tale
6 February 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This almost perfect cinematic rendition of Edith Nesbit's popular children's novel follows the lives of Roberta (Bobbie), Phyllis, and Peter, and their mother, after their father is unfairly accused of treason and sent to prison. They go to live in an almost uninhabitable house in the country which stands near a railway line – mum writes stories to make enough money for food and candles, while the children spend much of their time around the railway station and, specifically, waving to one particular train to 'send their love to father'.

Always an involving and clever novel, the characters are here brought to life under the perceptive direction of Lionel Jeffries (better known as a fine character actor). Jenny Agutter plays Bobbie, while Sally Thomsett and Gary Warren are her sister and brother. Their mother is Dinah Sheridan, while the other memorable characters are played by Bernard Cribbins (Perks the railway-man) and William Mervyn (the old gentleman on the train).

'The Railway Children' is gentle entertainment from another age, but does its job beautifully. As we watch Bobbie grow up with the worries of an absent parent jostling against her own needs both to be alone and to have fun, we can only rejoice when events come together at the close of the picture. Throughout we have a sense of time and place – be it from the steam trains, the university paper chase, or the red flannelette petticoats worn by the girls (and used to avert disaster!).


20 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Ridiculous PC Editing Jamesina_Bond_007
Bobby's birthday scene finnbarius
The touching ending William_Britton
Questions re Ann Lancaster and Peter Bromilow daph60
The London house akv1
The UK premiere: was it in London or Keighley? martinu-2
Discuss The Railway Children (1970) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?