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A classic Ealing in High Definition... What more could you want?
on 14 June 2013
This was one of the very first Technicolor movies to be filmed in England, which in its own right was a significant achievement. But what better way to mark this occasion than with such a simple commentary of rural and idyllic life? Many British films of this era don't age particularly well, which more often than not is a result of how we actually watch movies today (perhaps a lack of patience).
The Titfield Thunderbolt however continues to be one of my all time favourite British productions. It is an incredibly well rounded movie, reflecting just about everything that made post-war Britain such an exciting time in a new decade of economy and industry. Recorded are the portraits of unspoilt country landscapes, beaming in vibrant greens and pastel blue skies, with landmarks that many viewers have made efforts to compare to today. The movie also celebrates our bond with steam locomotives and the majesty of seeing them chuff down quiet rails - something that as a child, I was absorbed in.
Of course, the story itself does not disappoint. We witness a community of people that want nothing more than to save their local railway, and in typical circumstances, their efforts become almost outlandish. It is silly, but never over-the-top.
Studio Canal sourced dupe-negatives for this Blu-ray release, though the quality is that good that I can't imagine the actual camera negatives fairing much better in 1080p. It is a lovely video restoration that demonstrates a significant from past DVD's, particularly in the colour grading. It looks filmic now.
In short, Thunderbolt looks fantastic on Blu-ray, though I do wish the extra features were more extensive.