7.3/10
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45 user 13 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.

Director:

Lionel Jeffries

Writers:

E. Nesbit (celebrated novel), Lionel Jeffries (screenplay)
Reviews
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:

The Railway Children See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

EMI Films 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?


Goofs

This movie is set in 1905, yet after Perks opens the crossing gates to let an express train through, it's hauled by an 0-6-2 N2 class locomotive, a type of locomotive not built until the early 1920s. See more »

Quotes

Peter Waterbury: I'm very sorry I haven't got tuppence to give you like father does.
Albert Perks: Hey just stop that please, I wasn't thinking about no tuppence. I just came to say sorry your mama wasn't so well and to ask how she finds herself this evening. And I brought you some sweet briar, very sweet. Tuppence indeed!
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 »


Soundtracks

The Man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo
(uncredited)
Written by Fred Gilbert
Performed by Amelia Bayntun (as the cook) and the children
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A wonderful film
16 October 2007 | by neil-476See all my reviews

The Railway Children was on TV again this weekend, and I had forgotten how good it was.

If I have a criticism, it is that the episodic structure sometimes shows a little too clearly, there being little narrative flow from sequence to sequence. The charm and beauty of the film are such that this matters very little, however.

I won't revisit the comments of others, other than to add my vote for the final scene on the platform as being possibly the single most emotional scene in the history of British cinema: as a cynical old git passing through middle age rather too quickly I, too, find I cannot even think of that moment without being hit with a severe case of "I've got something in my eye." In fact, it's not just something in my eye, it moves things around inside me, too, with that beautiful happy pain we sometimes feel.

And Jenny Agutter was exquisitely beautiful in this film, standing with one foot in childhood and one in young womanhood, and bringing qualities of both to her portrayal of a girl having to grow up rather too quickly.

Plus a quick plaudit for Bernard Cribbins. Regarded mostly as a lightweight actor, he deftly created a Perks of great humanity.


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