7.3/10
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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:

Lionel Jeffries

Writers:

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

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Cast

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 Brenda Cowling ... Mrs. Viney
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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:

The Railway, the Children . . . and the wonderful secret they'll share with you ! [UK] See more »

Genres:

Family | Drama

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 December 1970 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Als onder moeder's vleugels See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

EMI Film Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

All of the vintage locomotives used in the film are still surviving today. See more »

Goofs

A bed-knob on Bobbie's bed is loose and changes positions between shots when she and her mother discuss the newspaper report on her father's sentence. 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 »

User Reviews

 
Lionel Jeffries' Greatest Achievement
5 October 2004 | by pthompson-4See all my reviews

I avoided this film as a boy because I thought it would be boring…no fights or shooting, cops, robbers, cowboys or Indians. It was definitely not a cool film to like. So I didn't see TRC until I was in my twenties and found it one of the most beautiful, captivating films I have seen. All the actors deliver the characterisations perfectly and each emotion is drawn from the viewer scene by scene. The filming and direction are deceptively simple but feel so natural and drew me completely into the story. My two favourite scenes are Bobbie's birthday party and the scene on the station platform near the end, directed and edited to perfection. The quality and phrasing of Jenny Agutter's voice when she calls: 'Daddy! My Daddy!' wrenches emotion from the viewer. Tears are welling in my eyes as I think of it.

This adaptation isn't just a movie it is a piece of precious art, as well as being the perfect example of what all film makers should be striving to achieve…creation of an emotional experience.


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