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)
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:

What's the unexpected secret that turns their world upside down? 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

Feature film debut for Deddie Davies who plays Mrs. Perks. She was married to Paddy Ward, who played the "Cart Man". 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 don't think we're going to enjoy being poor, you know, being cold and all that.
Bobbie Waterbury: Phyllis try to imagine it as an adventure, all sorts of things might happen.
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 »

Connections

Version of The Railway Children (1968) 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

 
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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