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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)
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Popularity
2,733 ( 6,878)

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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:

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:

 »
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

Sally Thomsett was 20 when she was cast as 11-year-old Phyllis. Her contract forbade her to reveal her true age during the making of the film and she was not allowed to be seen smoking, drinking, going out with her boyfriend or driving the sports cars that were her passion. Even the film crew did not know her true age. 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

Phyllis Waterbury: I don't think we're going to enjoy being poor, you know, being cold and all that.
Bobbie Waterbury: Phyllis try to imagine it as an adventure, all sorts of things might happen.
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

Not a dry eye in the house
14 July 2004 | by (Cheltenham, England) – See all my reviews

Back in 1970 at the tender age of 23, I fell hopelessly in love with Jenny Agutter - and remain so to this day. For it is this film for which she will always be associated - and for the very best reasons. It in no way typecast Miss Agutter, but clearly marked her as an actress of outstanding ability.

Nesbit's characters are brought to life by Lionel Jeffries production in what must be one of literature's most heart rending stories. It has everything - pathos, compassion, empathy, humour, loyalty and love, attributes once common in Great Britain, but sadly no longer.

Who can suppress those tears at Bobby's discovery of her Father at the station. "My Daddy... my Daddy...!" as she runs towards him?

This film should be available on prescription - it is indeed a tonic for whatever ails you.

As for my love of Miss Agutter - it remains undiminished, and when I see her today, I still see that porcelain complexion, those bewitching eyes and that come hither smile.


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

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Ridiculous PC Editing Jamesina_Bond_007
Bobby's birthday scene finnbarius
The touching ending William_Britton
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The UK premiere: was it in London or Keighley? martinu-2
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