Bob Holt's last journey as a Railway engine driver before his retirement, a journey disturbed by his distress at leaving the Railway, and his suspicions of the relationship between his wife...
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James Robertson Justice
Bob Holt's last journey as a Railway engine driver before his retirement, a journey disturbed by his distress at leaving the Railway, and his suspicions of the relationship between his wife and his fireman. Aboard the train are a pair of pickpockets, a honeymoon couple, a drunk, a temperance pamphleteer and a host of familiar types, all more-or-less bizarre in characteristically English ways. Bob takes an unexpected course of action, and the characters start interacting in varied and unexpected ways. When, at last, the train stops, all has been resolved, but not as might have been expected at the beginning of the journey.Written by
Stewart Naunton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film is one of over 200 titles in the list of independent feature films made available for television presentation by Advance Television Pictures announced in Motion Picture Herald 4 April 1942. At this time, television broadcasting was in its infancy, almost totally curtailed by the advent of World War II, and would not continue to develop until 1945-1946. Because of poor documentation (feature films were often not identified by title in conventional sources) no record has yet been found of its initial television broadcast. It's earliest documented telecast was Saturday 2 July 1949 on WCBS (Channel 2), New York City, as one of about three dozen British titles picked up for television distribution in the USA by the CBS Television Network. It first aired in Cincinnati Thursday 1 September 1949 on WCPO (Channel 7). See more »
Despite the decades of subsidised film study in Britain, little is known about their pre-Korda years. Critics and thesis writers have been inhibited by the lack of plagiarisable material and the awfulness of much of what was about.
The neglect of Maurice Elvey's films is the most obvious result but here is a modest English program entertainment which reverses expectations. Script and performance are less than imposing as passengers with problems accumulate but the energy is startling in the staging of the story of the demented engine driver taking the Mulchester (!) local round the curves at lethal speed, filmed air to rail, road to rail and rail to rail as the racing car, plane and goods trains run level with the speeding passenger local, in the best silent serial traditions.Rail freaks will be delighted by the documentary like coverage of procedures and equipment.
Director Vorhaus developed a following when David Lean named him as mentor but most of his output is mediocre or worse. This one suggests Lean may have known something we don't.
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