The Titfield Thunderbolt


The first Ealing comedy in colour

Ealing’s first colour comedy was the film that marked the studio’s descent into toothless whimsy.

When a local branch line is threatened with closure, a bunch of local gentry (including the vicar) decide to run it themselves, having stolen an ancient puffer from the museum.

The Dorset countryside, as shot by DoP Douglas Slocombe, looks good enough to eat, and director Charles Crichton ensures likeable performances from his cast.

But the sense of parochial smugness is overwhelming. “All men are boys at heart!” burbles the trailer, summing it up.

Lavish extras.

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