Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Titfield Thunderbolt

My mother used to give me presents, when I was child, of film annuals. They were geared towards kids, and mentioned only movies that kids might likely go to. I used to read them and re-read them until I know most of the articles by heart. And the photographs have stayed with me to this day. (I still have most of the books.)

So it was pleasing the other day to see part of The Titfield Thunderbolt, a movie that was in one of the books from my childhood.

It’s one of Ealing’s lesser comedies, but is amusing all the same. I think the story is about a small railway line that’s under threat because the elderly train isn’t making good time on its trips. (I only saw the second half of the movie, so I have no idea why Stanley Holloway was handcuffed to someone else all the time).

Anyway, one of the real pleasures in seeing the movie was to see the shots from the movie that appeared in the book all those years ago, and to see all those familiar faces from the English movies of that period. The actors who appeared in English movies seemed to come from a fairly small pool: you could count on them appearing over and over again. (It's one of the few films I've seen Naunton Wayne appear in, apart from The Lady Vanishes.)

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