The Titfield Thunderbolt

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Volunteers take over their local passenger train service (against bus company resistance) when the government announces its closure.

ACTORS :  Stanley Holloway, George Relph, Naunton Wayne

YEAR OF RELEASE :  1953

POSTAGE : Free postage within Australia

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The Titfield Thunderbolt  The residents of a small English village are about to lose their ancient railroad. They decide to rescue it by running it themselves, in competition with the local bus company.

Thumbs up for the ‘Thunderbolt’

The Titfield Thunderbolt  For my money this is the best and funniest of all the ‘Ealing Comedies’, it is so quintessentially post war British that it could not have been made by any other than Ealing Studios. The plot is simple – British Railways decide to close a local branch line and a group of villagers led by the local squire and vicar battle government red tape and the local bus company to run their own railway, eventually using an ancient locomotive (Thunderbolt) from the museum to pull their train. The character acting is superb as is the beautifully photographed scenery, but what makes this film stand by itself is that it does not rely on sex and violence (well only hammed up – such as the unforgettable joust between a railway locomotive and Sid James’s steam roller)and no bad language. It is a reminder of a long departed much simpler and more idealistic age where its message of right would eventually overcome wrong, was almost believable. It is a very gentle film, an innocent film, and despite its age still manages to deliver a feel good factor of 10/10.

A Great Flick!

This was Ealing’s first Colour film, and was a great achievement for the small independent film company which was struggling to keep up with the big guys. I agree that Alec Guiness should have probably played the reverend, but the film is a magical and wonderful addition to the Ealing Collection. I think that it is one of their best features in its field. There is no other comedy that captures the nostalgia and charm of a small English village. It is filled with an excellent script, a solid cast and physical commedy. Plus, “The Lion” the original 1800 locomotive which the film revolves around shows the ingenuity and the long lasting construction of British Locomotives. A must see on anyone’s list!

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