50 user 15 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.


Lionel Jeffries


E. Nesbit (from the celebrated novel by), Lionel Jeffries (screenplay)
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Dinah Sheridan ... Mrs. Waterbury (as Miss Dinah Sheridan)
Bernard Cribbins ... Albert Perks (as Mr. Bernard Cribbins)
William Mervyn William Mervyn ... Old Gentleman (as Mr. William Mervyn)
Iain Cuthbertson ... Charles Waterbury (as Mr. Iain Cuthbertson)
Jenny Agutter ... Roberta 'Bobbie' Waterbury (as Miss Jenny Agutter)
Sally Thomsett Sally Thomsett ... Phyllis Waterbury (as Miss Sally Thomsett)
Gary Warren Gary Warren ... Peter Waterbury (as Master Gary Warren)
Peter Bromilow ... Doctor
Ann Lancaster Ann Lancaster ... Ruth
Gordon Whiting Gordon Whiting ... Russian
Beatrix Mackey Beatrix Mackey ... Aunt Emma
Deddie Davies ... Mrs. Perks
David Lodge ... Bandmaster
Christopher Witty Christopher Witty ... Jim
Brenda Cowling ... Mrs. Viney


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


A film for adults to take their children, too! See more »


Drama | Family


G | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Jenny Agutter (Roberta "Bobbie" Faraday) and Christopher Witty (Jim) reprised their roles from the BBC serial The Railway Children (1968). See more »


At the end of the film when Charles Waterbury arrives at the station every one knows because as Perks points out it's in the paper. The only ones who don't know are the family who in fact would have been told before the newspapers. See more »


Phyllis Waterbury: Why don't we ask the next train to take our love to Daddy?
Peter Waterbury: Trains don't carry people's love, they'd be above that.
Phyllis Waterbury: Yes, they do if you tame them first. I wonder why Daddy hasn't written to us.
Bobbie Waterbury: Mummy says he's too busy. He'll write soon, she says.
Phyllis Waterbury: Well, why don't we wave anyway? Three waves won't matter. We won't miss them.
[so start waving]
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening titles, all the actors' names have a title: "Mr Bernard Cribbins", "Miss Jenny Agutter", "Master Gary Warren" etc. See more »


Pretty Polly Perkins of Paddington Green
Written by Harry Clifton
Performed by Bernard Cribbins (as Albert Perks at the birthday party)
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User Reviews

As near to the perfect children's film as can be imagined and...
21 October 2001 | by ShippersAreEvilSee all my reviews

...apparently Bernard Cribbins ad libbed nearly all of his lines. If you can sit through the 'Daddy! Oh my daddy" bit without blubbing then you really need to get in touch with your inner child (trust me. I'm a 41 year old bloke).

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

22 December 1970 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Railway Children See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

EMI Films See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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