The Railway Children (1970)
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, Rovi … More
as Old Gentleman
as Aunt Emma
as Mrs. Perks
as Mrs. Viney
as C.I.D. Man
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Critic Reviews for The Railway Children
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.
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.
It all slips down very nicely; Bernard Cribbins is terrific as railwayman Perks, and Jeffries' final scene... is justly celebrated
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.
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.
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.
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.More
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!).
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