7.4/10
3,142
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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On Disc

at Amazon

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 ...
Ruth
Gordon Whiting ...
Russian
Beatrix Mackey ...
...
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
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Did You Know?


Goofs

When the children catch their first view of the 'Green Dragon' express thundering out of the tunnel adjacent to their home, a shot of the fireman stoking the locomotive shows a stationary bush in the window behind him, indicating the sequence was shot on a halted engine. See more »

Quotes

Phyllis Waterbury: I O N. There; 'Look out at the station'.
Bobbie Waterbury: One of your finest works, Michaelangelo.
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 In Confidence: Tony Benn (2013) 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

 
A wonderful film
16 October 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Railway Children was on TV again this weekend, and I had forgotten how good it was.

If I have a criticism, it is that the episodic structure sometimes shows a little too clearly, there being little narrative flow from sequence to sequence. The charm and beauty of the film are such that this matters very little, however.

I won't revisit the comments of others, other than to add my vote for the final scene on the platform as being possibly the single most emotional scene in the history of British cinema: as a cynical old git passing through middle age rather too quickly I, too, find I cannot even think of that moment without being hit with a severe case of "I've got something in my eye." In fact, it's not just something in my eye, it moves things around inside me, too, with that beautiful happy pain we sometimes feel.

And Jenny Agutter was exquisitely beautiful in this film, standing with one foot in childhood and one in young womanhood, and bringing qualities of both to her portrayal of a girl having to grow up rather too quickly.

Plus a quick plaudit for Bernard Cribbins. Regarded mostly as a lightweight actor, he deftly created a Perks of great humanity.


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