The Railway Children (1970) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Railway Children (1970)

The Railway Children




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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 Mervyn), both of whom strive to prove their father's innocence. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovimore
Rating: G
Genre: Drama, Television, Kids & Family, Art House & International
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 6, 2003


William Mervyn
as Old Gentleman
Beatrix Mackey
as Aunt Emma
Deddie Davies
as Mrs. Perks
Brenda Cowling
as Mrs. Viney
Paddy Ward
as Cartman
Erik Chitty
as Photographer
Dominic Allen
as C.I.D. Man
David Lodge
as Bandmaster
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Railway Children

Critic Reviews for The Railway Children

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (1)

Full Review… | February 23, 2012
Top Critic

The film - which sticks closely to E Nesbit's original dialogue and glows with a rural, pre-World War One innocence - is a classic in its own right.

Full Review… | December 22, 2014
Daily Telegraph

Great British family classic is rewarding for families.

Full Review… | April 12, 2013
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.

Full Review… | May 5, 2010

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

Full Review… | April 2, 2010

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.

Full Review… | April 2, 2010
Times (UK)

Audience Reviews for The Railway Children


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!).

Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer


It is all a bit a bit far-fetched,sentimental, and episodic but delivered with such calm grace by Jeffries with the assistance of cinematographer Arthur Ibbetson, the exaggerations don't seem to matter.

The Railway Children Quotes

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