7.4/10
3,169
39 user 12 critic

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)
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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)
...
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 ...
Gordon Whiting ...
Russian
Beatrix Mackey ...
Aunt Emma
...
Mrs. Perks
David Lodge ...
Bandmaster
Christopher Witty ...
Jim
Brenda Cowling ...
Mrs. Viney
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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:

A film for adults to take their children, too! 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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ann Lancaster died before the film was released. See more »

Goofs

When the family move to Yorkshire in 1905, the children run through the field and stand at the gate to wave to the train. There is a vapor trail in the sky. See more »

Quotes

Phyllis Waterbury: I hope mother doesn't get too wet in Wakefield.
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 Big Screen Britain: The Railway Children (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

The Man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo
(uncredited)
Written by Fred Gilbert
Performed by Cook and the children
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
"It's perfect - more perfect than you'll ever know"...
13 July 2006 | by (North Yorkshire, England) – See all my reviews

This is a film that I love above all others. I try to revisit the main film locations in Oakworth and Oxenhope whenever I can, which help to re-establish those magical qualities that this film seems to embody so uniquely - recalling a gentler and more mannered age, with its unspoken assertions that people really do matter, that family life is not just another disposable, and that life really is worth living (though sometimes, we may doubt that). In short, a film that soon brings tears to my eyes, helped perhaps by the deeply evocative music - some tunes are jaunty (like the Perks' tune, played on a trombone, sometimes with spoons), the stirring melody when the family first set off for Yorkshire not knowing what lies ahead, and the haunting little tune played on a solo clarinet (or is it an oboe?) that precedes sudden child-felt changes in fortune.

This is as much a film for adults as for children, appealing to the eternal child in us all - a key that effortlessly reactivates those deep and apparently long-lost values and feelings buried inside us, which are normally swept aside by the demands of modern everyday life. This is a film about basic human goodness and decency in which we the viewers are left to make of it what we will, and there are welcome touches of humour sometimes added for good measure, such as the arrival of the aunt or, on a more earthy level, the bedroom scene on Perks' birthday - "All right Bert - as it's your birthday!" I must know every scene, every line of this film, and yet so great is the magic that each time I watch, it is like I am opening a box of delights for the first time, savouring each moment - sometimes humorous, sometimes....well, very different. As Peter says in the film: "it's perfect - more perfect than you know". And so it is!!!


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