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Great (Isambard Kingdom Brunel) (1975)

 |  Documentary, Animation, Short
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 162 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 2 critic

An animated film about the British engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who spearheaded numerous engineering marvels of the early 19th century - including the Thames Tunnel, the Great Western ... See full summary »

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Title: Great (Isambard Kingdom Brunel) (1975)

Great (Isambard Kingdom Brunel) (1975) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Harry Fowler ...
Narrator (voice)
Barbara Moore ...
Queen Victoria (voice)
Angus Lennie ...
(voice)
Peter Hawkins ...
(voice)
Dick Graham ...
(voice)
Imogen Claire ...
(voice)
Cyril Shaps ...
(voice)
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Storyline

An animated film about the British engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who spearheaded numerous engineering marvels of the early 19th century - including the Thames Tunnel, the Great Western Railway, and the Great Eastern steamship (for 40 years the world's largest steamship). Various styles of animation are used to depict events in his colorful life. Written by scgary66

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The live-action railway footage used as the basis for one segment was used a few years later in unmodified form for a television ad in the US. See more »

Quotes

Queen Victoria: Ah, Mr Brunel, what are you designing now? Something we shall find amusing, I trust?
Isambard Kingdom Brunel: How about something six times larger than anything like it before?
Queen Victoria: Oh, Isambard!
[Looks at blueprints. Disappointed]
Queen Victoria: Oh, it's a ship.
See more »

Soundtracks

Moog Shots
(uncredited)
Music by Sam Spence and Eckart Rahn
De Wolfe Music Ltd
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User Reviews

 
Deserves to be far better known
23 August 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As you can see from other reviews of this little masterpiece, "Great - IKB" is a splendid piece of work that is shamefully neglected.

I first knew of the film when I heard the song "It's A Big One" played on the radio when it was released in 1975. I was looking forward to seeing this film about Brunel (already a hero of mine and now 2nd Greatest Briton of All Time, folks!). I never heard any more about it and began to wonder if I'd just dreamt it.

Then in the 1980's Channel 4 broadcast it one Saturday afternoon. Of course I watched it and was amazed at the number of animation styles and the sophisticated humour that was packed into a short film. For example, the film starts with a run-down of Victorian heroes in the style of a football team: 'Boots' Wellington, 'Flash' Gordon, 'Knockers' Nightingale and 'Little Willie' Gladstone on the touchline with his black bag. You need to know your history to appreciate this stuff. There are even references to the size of Prince Albert's manhood (when Queen Victoria said in her diary that "Albert's beauty is most striking" she wasn't writing about his haircut).

When the film was shown again a few years later I set up my cassette player and recorded the soundtrack, just to make sure I could play it whenever I wanted. A good job I did as to my knowledge it has never been shown again and is not available commercially.

I often wonder if a series of these was planned and didn't come off? I think it was produced by British Lion which went bust in the mid-70's. This might explain why "Great - IKB" was a one-off and the lack of a video/DVD distribution deal.


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