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on 6 February 2013
Great fan of Ealing Comadies especally Titfield Thunderbolt. So was very much looking forward to this digitally remastered 60th edition of the film.

The extras like where and how it was made were interesting.

But, sync between video and audio has been lost somewhere in the digital remastering. This means in many scenes actors speech does not match movement of the mouth for example. I found this very irritating.

The video and audio remastering taken sepratly are excellent. But putting the two together the end result is lousy. I enjoy watching the un-remastered old DVD version far more.

Think carefully before buying this version - I would get the old DVD and let your player "upscale" for a far more enjoyable evening.
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on 19 August 2001
Reading Simon Winchester's great book "The Map that Changed the World" reminded me of this movie which I saw with our children in the 1950s and in which they greatly delighted. Winchester describes how William Smith discovered so much of the geological strata of Great Britain in the early nineteenth century through studying the landscape and underground conditions of the region around Bath and Bristol. He describes how Smith supervised the cutting of a canal between Limpley Stoke and Camerton, the later route of the very railway on which the "Titfield Thunderbolt" was shot. This piece of information made me go and buy a video of the movie to see the landscape which enthralled William Smith. Indeed, there is more to this movie than the plot or the actors - apart from the train itself of course!
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on 29 May 2009
A charming Ealing Studios film about a village's determination to keep their branch line open. A gentle and affectionate film, with lovely glimpses of rural life in a mostly bygone age. A fine array of British film talent all working together to create a very enjoyable film. Rail enthusiasts love it, but it has much broader appeal, especially as light relief from today's intense, high energy style of film making.
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on 20 January 2013
I am an Ealing nut... I have loved this film for years, this Blu Ray version with its digitally resorted version is utterly superb, a lot of Digitally Restored films just simply digitise an old film and thats all they do and then call it Digitially Restored, but this is like seeing a new film the work that has been done to get rid of all the little crackles and scrapes have been totally removed, this is a great bit of work - It feels like a brand new film, I think a lot of reviews are about the film, this review is about the superbly restored crisp version this Blu Ray gives you - if you are wondering wether it is worth getting another copy then Yes "do it" I can not rate this highly enough and in a 'Spinal Tap' offering, if it had 6 stars I would of given it 6 stars!
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This wonderful little film was made by Ealing during a golden age for British films. It typifies the defiance of authority by local inhabitants which was topical during the 40's and 50's. An Ealing mantra was 'small is beautiful and big is bad'.

The story concerns the threatened closure of an antiquated railway line. The local villagers decide to run it themselves and in so doing enter into frenetic competition with the local bus company. Battle lines are drawn and the ensuing skirmishes are a pleasure to behold. The laughs come thick and fast.

The film has a strong cast including such well known faces as John Gregson,Hugh Griffith and Sid James. Stanley Holloway puts in a delightful turn as a wealthy local who is rather too fond of alcoholic refreshment. The other stars are of course those wonderful old steam trains from a bygone era, especially the 'Thunderbolt', which appears to have been based on Stevensons rocket.

The film captures the very essence of this sceptred Isle. The landscape is as beautiful and unmistakably English as it was possible to be. Lush meadows, pretty villages, clear brooks, thick hedgerows, thatched cottages and cricket matches. It conjures up a lost England. Nostalgia assails you in every frame. Station whistles and flags. Dairy cattle lowing and the sound of birdsong throughout. Never has a film been such a rich shade of green. This was Ealings first comedy to be produced in technicolor and what a success it is.

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" was filmed in the valleys of the Cam and Midford brooks on the Eastern end of the Camerton & Limpley Stoke Railway near Bath. I live not far away from there, and can say that this was and still is the ideal location to capture the quintessence of the beautiful English countryside.

I recommend this film to you unreservedly. Sit back, relax, and be transported to a less complicated time. A time when people had less than we do today but seemed so much happier. If you are like me you might have a nagging feeling you were born in the wrong era.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 February 2013
Watch this and you'd soon see why a certain Dr Beeching slaughtered and ripped so much of Britain's railway network up - the opening comical sequences has carriages full of delayed businessmen awaiting the removal of a hand-pushed cart from the line and other such nostalgic and rose-tinted vintage mishaps and shenanigans.

For the slightly more modern viewer than classic Ealings, Sid James gets a leading role; it's good not to just see him as just a lecherous rascal, albeit one with a laugh of a hyena in all those corny Carry On's. A few other familiar actors of the period - Stanley Holloway and John Gregson are two that are the most recognisable.

Modern audiences are very likely to be of the older generation who just like watching - and hearing steam trains. The Lightbolt, the steam train engine that features a lot and runs through the pretty (and in a not-so vibrant Technicolor) village of Titfield. Screenwriter T.E.B Clarke (an Ealing fixture) took the names of the adjoining villages of Titsey and Limpsfield, in Surrey, to create this fictional place-name.

So, the battle is on: local businesses who use trucks and vans for their deliveries sense that they can run coaches, when British Rail refuse to fund the appallingly run and money-losing branch line. Local enthusiasts, of all classes and persuasions take the old 'Tally-Ho' keep-the-flags flying attitude and decide to run the line and trains themselves. Typical amateurs, they think it's going to be dead easy and of course, it's not.

Cue lots of fairly obvious but genial comedy moments and characters and you've got a slight but quaintly appealing, light little comedy. At just over 80mins it's quite compact in length, too.

The film looks really rather dated now, especially through modern eyes and to my mind, is not an Ealing classic. It is appealing in its simple ways and naivety of a bygone age and will always find favour with those who love their steam trains.

My DVD is part of the Ealing Comedy DVD Collection.
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on 2 September 2011
Whichever one of these delicious pieces of nonsense takes your fancy, you will be treated to a special bit of Englishness, rich in eccentric style and wit, that will keep you coming back for more.

The Ealing Comedies are in a class of their own, their influence and legacy the stuff of legend. Here in this boxed set, we can revel in three classics: 'Passport to Pimlico' which of course is renowned, summed up by the wonderful line 'It's because we're English that we're fighting for our right to be Burgundian!' ( but you'll have to watch the film to see what that means, if you don't already know); 'The Titfield Thunderbolt' a charming if unchallenging love-song to the vanished age of steam railways; and a lesser-known jewel in this particular treasure-chest: 'Hue and Cry'. This is an energetic little masterpiece that deserves to be placed firmly in British Film's Hall of Fame. A superb black comedy, everything about it is well-nigh perfect - the story, T.E.B.Clarke's witty screenplay, the excellent performances from the mainly very young cast, the delivery of the deliciously potty dialogue, and - above all - the backdrop of a post-war London still licking its terrible wounds as it repairs and begins to rebuild itself in the late 1940s.

Most perfect of all is Alastair Sim in what must surely be one of his richest, funniest, and campest roles - that of the crime writer unwittingly and unwillingly caught up in the plot to make away with -

But no! Let it be sufficient to say that HUE & CRY is one of those little rewards that make us grateful for Ealing Studios and the many extraordinary talents that flourished there. As a bonus, the documentary 'Forever Ealing' gives us a charming insight into the way of life behind the gates of these studios on Ealing Green. They are still there, and still working - but they have not for many years mined and brought forth such a rich vein of homegrown cinema.
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on 20 July 2009
I originally saw "The Titfield Thunderbolt" shortly after its release in 1953, when I was pretty young. It charmed and captivated me then, and has never ceased to do so. Every time I watch it, it is as fresh as when I first viewed it. Highly recommended for all those who love railways and rural England as it once was (or might have been). A splendid team of stalwart actors is present, and includes an early appearance of Sid James. Loads of splendid shots of trains, including the glorious ancient "Lion" masquerading as the "Thunderbolt". Quintessentially English, a delightful film to watch, and, if you're old enough (or maybe even if you're not) to wallow in a little nostalgia whilst doing so.
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on 6 July 2013
The Titfield Thunderbolt has been one of my favorite old films for years & when I found out it was now on Blu-ray, I put it down as a "must have" & I must admit the "clean up" of the old has been done very well, just don't expect modern crispness & quality from this old favourite - but well worth the money all the same, they even show you a comparison between the original and the digitally enhanced film.
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The Titfield Thunderbolt is one of my favourites from Ealing fims. Everytime I see it I am taken back to my childhood. The local railway is threatened with closure to be replacemed by a bus service!. Local people try run the railway themselves. Which leads onto to many super - funny scences.

Great cast - great story!
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