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The Railway Children

The Railway Children (1970)

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Release Date: Jan 1, 1970 Wide

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82

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Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 4,049

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Movie Info

British character actor Lionel Jeffries both directed The Railway Children and adapted its screenplay from the novel by E. Nesbit. Dinah Sheridan plays the mother of three children who must live in reduced circumstances when her husband (Ian Cuthbertson), a government official, is arrested on a false charge of treason. The kids adapt rather well to their new environment, a community located on the edges of a railway. They befriend a kindly porter (Bernard Cribbins) and a wealthy gent (William

May 6, 2003

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All Critics (8) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (0)

Great British family classic is rewarding for families.

April 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Those of you coming to the film for the first time are in for a treat; those familiar with it will enjoy its sparkling restoration.

May 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Future Movies UK

It all slips down very nicely; Bernard Cribbins is terrific as railwayman Perks, and Jeffries' final scene... is justly celebrated

April 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

Kids reared on the accelerated thrills of modern children's cinema might find the pacing a little lethargic but if you can persuade them to give it a chance, this sweet-natured family classic should work its magic.

April 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

Jeffries mounts the whole thing with charm, humour and subtle smarts. And, let's face it, our obsession with Jenny Agutter, 11 years before American Werewolf, started here.

April 1, 2010 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Directed by Lionel Jeffries, this adaptation of E Nesbit's much-loved novel is simply the finest children's film ever made in this country.

April 1, 2010 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

An idyllic world that is entirely plausible

June 28, 2003 Full Review
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Audience Reviews for The Railway Children

A classic British Children's story brought to life in this 1970's adaptation, which itself has become a bit of a classic in its own right. To be honest I was unfamiliar with the story until I saw a brilliant theatre production of this on the unused platform in London's Waterloo station. Now, I liked it but the story is a little dated, it's definitely posh kids literature and when you break down the story and writing it is a little insulting at times - I guess it's just a little old-fashioned but totally forgivable. There are some wonderful ideas in the story and as corney as it might be, it's full of tear-jerking moments and quite famous for it. It's not usually my kind of thing but I'd be lying if I said I didn't really enjoy it. Directed by the much loved and sadly missed Lionel Jeffries.
February 28, 2011
SirPant

Super Reviewer

This nearly perfect cinematic rendition of Edith Nesbit's popular children's novel follows the lives of Roberta (Bobbie), Phyllis, and Peter, and their mother, after their father is unfairly accused of treason and sent to prison. They go to live in an almost uninhabitable house in the country which stands near a railway line ? mum writes stories to make enough money for food and candles, while the children spend much of their time around the railway station and, specifically, waving to one particular train to 'send their love to father'.

Always an involving and clever novel, the characters are here brought to life under the perceptive direction of Lionel Jeffries (better known as a fine character actor). Jenny Agutter plays Bobbie, while Sally Thomsett and Gary Warren are her sister and brother. Their mother is Dinah Sheridan, while the other memorable characters are played by Bernard Cribbins (Perks the railway-man) and William Mervyn (the old gentleman on the train).

'The Railway Children' is gentle entertainment from another age, but does its job beautifully. As we watch Bobbie grow up with the worries of an absent parent jostling against her own needs both to be alone and to have fun, we can only rejoice when events come together at the close of the picture. Throughout we have a sense of time and place ? be it from the steam trains, the university paper chase, or the red flannelette petticoats worn by the girls (and used to avert disaster!).
February 10, 2011
matertenebraum

Super Reviewer

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