‘The Railway Children’ Movies

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

Let’s talk about ‘The Railway Children’! I first became aware of E. Nesbit’s children’s story through the 2000 TV film, featuring Jenny Agutter as the mother and Jemima Rooper as Bobbie. Lately, I’ve checked out ‘The Railway Children’ films – the 1970 film and the 2022 sequel, both made for cinema.

The 1970 film of ‘The Railway Children’ was interesting to check out. It follows mostly to what I’ve seen in the 2000 TV film. The story concerns a mother and her three children who move from London to a cottage in the countryside. The three children have adventures that involve the railway.

The story also takes place in the year 1905. The film was directed by Lionel Jeffries, who’s also been in ‘Murder Ahoy!’ with Margaret Rutherford. It was nice to see Jenny Agutter playing Bobby, the eldest of the three children in this film, and it’s amazing to see her looking and sounding so young. 😀

This of course was all before Jenny Agutter played Sister Julienne in ‘Call the Midwife’. The film also features Sally Thomsett as Phyllis and Gary Warren as Peter, Bobbie’s brother and sister. There’s also Dinah Sheridan who plays the mother, Mrs. Waterbury. It was amazing to see Dinah Sheridan in this.

She would go on to play Chancellor Flavia in the ‘Doctor Who’ story ‘The Five Doctors’. There’s also Bernard Cribbins (who’s been in ‘Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.’ and played Wilfred Mott in ‘Doctor Who’) as Albert Perks, the station’s porter. It was great to see Bernard Cribbins in the film. 🙂

There’s also William Mervyn (who I’ve seen in ‘All Gas and Gaiters’ and the ‘Doctor Who’ story ‘The War Machines’) as the Old Gentleman who befriends the Railway Children. There’s Iain Cuthbertson as the children’s father Charles Waterbury, Peter Bromilow as Dr. Forrest and Ann Lancaster as Ruth.

My parents and I saw the 1970 ‘Railway Children’ film on Prime Video. We later saw the 2022 sequel ‘The Railway Children Return’ at the cinema. I don’t know why a sequel was made and there wasn’t a need for one, but it was good to see a continuation of ‘The Railway Children’ story on the big screen.

The film takes place in 1944 where the Second World War is taking place. Three evacuees from Manchester end up in the countryside and live with Jenny Agutter as Bobbie, who’s now grown up and has a daughter, Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller in the Big Finish audios of ‘Doctor Who’) as Annie. 🙂

I would question how Bobbie is able to have a daughter in Annie in the duration between 1905 and 1944, but it’s something you can either suspend your disbelief on or not. The three children are Beau Gadsden as Lilly, Eden Hamilton as Pattie and Zac Cudby as Ted. Annie also has her son in the movie.

He’s Austin Haynes as Thomas, who befriends Lilly, Pattie and Ted. Soon, the four children help an young American soldier, KJ Aikens as Abe, who’s revealed to be a ‘deserter’. There are themes of racism and prejudice in this film, especially in how the American soldiers treat their black comrades.

There’s also Tom Courtenay (who I’ve seen in the 2016 ‘Dad’s Army’ film and ‘The Aeronauts’) as Uncle Walter. There’s also Hugh Quarshie (who I’ve seen in ‘Star Wars: The Phantom Menace’ and the ‘Doctor Who’ TV adventure ‘Daleks In Manhattan’/’Evolution of the Daleks’) as General Harrison.

The two ‘Railway Children’ films have been enjoyable to check out. I don’t think the second film is as good as the first film, but it does guarantee you to have a good time watching it at the cinema. I’ll have to do a review on the 2000 TV film, since that’s the film adaptation of E. Nesbit’s book I recall the most.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim 🙂

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