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The Railway Children 1970

After their Victorian father leaves with two strangers and doesn't return, his three children and wife and move to a country cottage. There, the children fall in love with the railway and spend a lot of time there, managing to prevent an accident and meet people who solve the mystery of their missing father.

Starring:
Dinah Sheridan, Bernard Cribbins
Runtime:
1 hour, 45 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Children & Family
Director Lionel Jeffries
Starring Dinah Sheridan, Bernard Cribbins
Supporting actors William Mervyn, Iain Cuthbertson, Jenny Agutter, Sally Thomsett, Gary Warren, Peter Bromilow, Ann Lancaster, Gordon Whiting, Beatrix Mackey, Deddie Davies, David Lodge, Christopher Witty, Brenda Cowling, Paddy Ward, Erik Chitty, Sally James, Dominic Allan, Richard Leech
Studio StudioCanal
BBFC rating Universal, suitable for all
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Railway Children is essentially a film about people who are not afraid to care about each other without expecting anything in return. The story probably seems to many people today to be an unlikely fantasy. Is it really possible that a group of children would take the time to go around town and collect birthday presents for some guy who works on the railway? Well, when you consider the film is set over 100 years ago, it's quite possible. What else did kids have to do with their time when the most advanced consumer product was the pocket watch? The day was still 24 hours long but there was no TV, mobile phones or boy bands to waste your time on. Back then, people probably had the time to be kind to each other and they could do it without fear of being scammed.

The children's acting is extraordinarily good. Jenny Agutter shines in her first major film role and Sally Thomsett is the most natural child actor I've seen to date. The adults do a good job too with Bernard Cribbins at his best as the railway guy whose pride gets the better of him.

The DVD is fine but not great; there are no extras at all and the picture is a bit smudgy in the night-time scenes. It is however quite clear in the bright daytime scenes with no noticable grain.

The film is presented in 1.66:1 format (15:9) which is not wide enough for a 16:9 screen and leaves dark bands at the left and right. However, according to the Internet Movie Database this is exactly the format the film was made in so this is more a note than a complaint.

Notwithstanding the lack of extras on the DVD, the film is so good that I'd still advise you to buy it. If I had a time machine, I'd forget the future and I'd go back there, to a time when children waved at trains and got excited by a paper-chase.
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Format: VHS Tape
Actually, make that from 6 to infinity! When I first watched this "flick" as a first run at the local movie-theatre I was enchanted by it. (I think I immediately developed a crush for Jenny Agutter that I've never actually lost!). The story, the cast and the setting just combined to produce a beautiful production. Much later it popped up on TV and once again I thoroughly enjoyed it. Recently I spent some time searching for a VHS copy so that my children could share my experience and I was delighted to find that "The Railway Children" is still available; I immediately ordered it. This is a movie that should be seen by everybody, no matter how old we are, and one that should be forever available for purchase. I gladly recommend it without any hesitation whatsoever. (BK)
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Format: VHS Tape
The above summary says it all, really. "The Railway Children" is truly children's cinema perfection... but don't think this is one just for the kids! This film evokes an era of innocence, honesty and simplicity that maybe never actually existed, but does so without being saccharine-sweet.
The acting and the direction are first class, and the film is shot through with both extreme humour and beautifully moving moments. How hard-hearted would you need to be to fail to be moved by Roberta's birthday party, and not stifle a tear or a sob during the almost unbearable 'stop-motion' daughter and father reunion scene?
Whether "The Railway Children" can have an impact on children who have been raised on films such as "Toy Story" and "A Bug's Life" is open to debate. But to deny them the opportunity of seeing such a genuinely enchanting piece of film-making is little short of a crime.
So often, we hear the phrase, "this is one to treasure"; in this case, it truly is. Buy it... NOW!
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Most people know about the film itself, so I will concentrate on the actual Blu-ray edition itself.

For me, picture quality is the most important aspect of a DVD or Blu-ray issue, and this Optimum Blu-ray is of high quality, and certainly an improvement on the DVD. The main benefit is sharpness; there really is an almost 3D quality (no, not the 3D with specs stuff which is currently the latest fad) in places. A great deal of the film was shot on location and some of the scenery shots draw you into them. Grass and leaves of trees can be difficult to reproduce, but here they are crystal clear. Details are generally clearer than the DVD and railway fans may well find this an essential purchase for this reason (I did). There is a little grain but not much. Colour in the outside, location, shots seems natural, although I did wonder about the colour balance of some of the studio shots. Nothing serious though. The sound is allegedly basic stereo, although listening via my TV I couldn't notice much in the way of stereo, just good clean mono. Overall, an excellent transfer.

Much of the film was shot on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway in West Yorkshire, and one of the Blu-ray extras, 'Now and Then- A Retrospective documentary on The Ralway Children', has some of the railway workers who appeared in the film giving their memories of the filming. The other extra, a series of interviews with some of the stars of the film, is pleasant enough, but you won't learn a great deal.

If you are interested in the making of the film, I strongly recommend the short booklet 'The Making of The Railway Children',
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