7.3/10
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41 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:

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:

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?

Trivia

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

Goofs

As the engine approaches Bobbie in the 'landslide sequence' and comes to a halt, drifting steam is seen coming down from the sky and entering its funnel, indicating the shot is actually reversed footage of the train backing away from Bobbie so as to not endanger the actress by attempting a precision stop inches away from her. See more »

Quotes

Bobbie Waterbury: There's going to be a paperchase tomorrow.
Phyllis Waterbury: Whippee!
Bobbie Waterbury: The boys from the grammar school are doing it.
Phyllis Waterbury: Zippee!
Bobbie Waterbury: Perks says we can go by the ramp.
Phyllis Waterbury: What's a paperchase?
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

Featured in Paul O'Grady's Hollywood: Weepies (2017) 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

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User Reviews

Not a dry eye in the house
14 July 2004 | by iandcooperSee all my reviews

Back in 1970 at the tender age of 23, I fell hopelessly in love with Jenny Agutter - and remain so to this day. For it is this film for which she will always be associated - and for the very best reasons. It in no way typecast Miss Agutter, but clearly marked her as an actress of outstanding ability.

Nesbit's characters are brought to life by Lionel Jeffries production in what must be one of literature's most heart rending stories. It has everything - pathos, compassion, empathy, humour, loyalty and love, attributes once common in Great Britain, but sadly no longer.

Who can suppress those tears at Bobby's discovery of her Father at the station. "My Daddy... my Daddy...!" as she runs towards him?

This film should be available on prescription - it is indeed a tonic for whatever ails you.

As for my love of Miss Agutter - it remains undiminished, and when I see her today, I still see that porcelain complexion, those bewitching eyes and that come hither smile.


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