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The Titfield Thunderbolt (1953)

Not Rated | | Comedy | 20 October 1953 (USA)
Volunteers take over their local passenger train service (against bus company resistance) when the government announces its closure.

Director:

Charles Crichton

Writer:

T.E.B. Clarke (original screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stanley Holloway ... Valentine
George Relph George Relph ... Weech
Naunton Wayne ... Blakeworth
John Gregson ... Gordon
Godfrey Tearle Godfrey Tearle ... The Bishop
Hugh Griffith ... Dan
Gabrielle Brune Gabrielle Brune ... Joan
Sidney James ... Hawkins
Reginald Beckwith Reginald Beckwith ... Coggett
Edie Martin ... Emily
Michael Trubshawe ... Ruddock
Jack MacGowran ... Vernon Crump (as Jack McGowran)
Ewan Roberts ... Alec Pearce
Herbert C. Walton Herbert C. Walton ... Seth
John Rudling John Rudling ... Clegg
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Storyline

The residents of a small English village are about to lose their ancient railroad. They decide to rescue it by running it themselves, in competition with the local bus company. Written by Blair Stannard <stannard@sonetis.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A one way trip from here to hilarity! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 October 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blixten från Titfield See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)| Mono (Gaumont Kalee Recording)

Color:

Color (Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A replica locomotive was built on the chassis of a Bedford truck for the scene where the locomotive is seen driving down the road. See more »

Goofs

When the locomotive is stolen from the turntable in the railway yard, it is able to negotiate the streets in the town and bends in the road out of town. This would not be possible as engines have no steering: the rails guide them and when cornering, there is a small amount of slip on the inside wheels. Even steering like a military tank (powering one side only) would not be possible as all the linkages and axles on the locomotive are fixed to drive together. See more »

Quotes

Sam Weech: We want the Titfield Thunderbolt.
George Blakeworth: Out of the museum?
Sam Weech: Yes, yes, she'll run. She's as good as she ever was. I'll stake my living on it!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Forever Ealing (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

The Eton Boating Song
(uncredited)
Music by Algernon Drummond
Lyrics by William Johnson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An underestimated film that has aged very well
4 January 2005 | by alexanderhughesrepliesSee all my reviews

This is a comedy with many of the traditional Ealing attributes - whimsy, cheerfulness, small-versus-big storyline - but it has aged far better than many of its sister titles from Ealing. This is because the film was made in rural England just before it changed forever. It features beautiful locations (around Bath in Somerset) and a stereotypical village of characters which must have seemed very normal in 1953, but which hardly exist today. I have seen this film many many times, but I have never got bored by it. It has taken on a new power over the last twenty years and it has undoubtedly grown in popularity. Why? It is a portrait of a lost world, where people greeted each other in the street, where trains ran (on time) through villages, where cars did not rule every road. The Titfield Thunderbolt, of all films, predicted back in 1953 what would happen if we got rid of our railways - and look how tragically it has been proved right. Watch this film as a window on that lost world, but don't forget to laugh! It is a great little comedy: fast paced, energetically acted, beautifully shot by Douglas Slocombe and directed with brio by Charles Crichton. Recommended to all.

For what it's worth, here are my top 8 Ealing Comedies. Pole position was easy, thereafter was hard:

1) Kind Hearts and Coronets 2) The Lavender Hill Mob 3) Whisky Galore 4) The Titfield Thunderbolt 5) The Man in the White Suit 6) The Ladykillers 7) Passport to Pimlico 8) Hue and Cry


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