The Railway Children Return

Review by Rich Cline

The Railway Children Return
dir Morgan Matthews
scr Danny Brocklehurst
prd Jemma Rodgers
with Jenny Agutter, Sheridan Smith, Beau Gadsdon, KJ Aikens, Austin Haynes, Eden Hamilton, Zac Cudby, John Bradley, Tom Courtenay, Hugh Quarshie
release UK 15.Jul.22
22/UK StudioCanal 1h38

bradley courtenay quarshie
See also:
The Railway Children (1970)

Is it streaming?

Gadsdon, Hamilton, Smith, Haynes, Cudby, Aikens and Agutter

"There's an old fashioned charm to this sequel to the 1970 British classic."

but the full review has been embargoed in line with British film distribution rules. It will be posted closer to the release date.


cert pg themes, language, violence 16.May.22

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The Railway Children

Review by Rich Cline | 4/5

The Railway Children
dir-scr Lionel Jeffries
with Jenny Agutter, Sally Thomsett, Gary Warren, Dinah Sheridan, Bernard Cribbins, William Mervyn, Iain Cuthbertson, Peter Bromilow
release UK 22.Dec.70,
US 28.Oct.71
reissue UK 8.Jul.22
70/UK EMI 1h49

See also:
The Railway Children Return (2022)

Is it streaming?

Warren, Agutter and Thomsett
I'd never seen this venerable British classic, so caught up with it before watching the 50-years-later sequel. It's quickly clear why the film is so beloved, as it's packed with vivid characters and offbeat humour, and it tells an involving story about kindness and friendship. There's also lots of terrific Yorkshire scenery and several moments of mildly thrilling suspense along the way. And it superbly captures the curiosity, compassion and restless energy of children.

As it opens in 1905 London, a man (Cuthbertson) is escorted away from his home by officials, leaving behind his wife (Sheridan) and children Bobbie, Phyllis and Peter (Agutter, Thomsett and Warren). Unable to pay their bills, they move to rural Yorkshire, where they get up to a variety of adventures along the railway line that runs past their house. Each of these incidents resolves with a kick of emotion, turning the children into local heroes. Through all of this, they're told not to ask about where their father has gone. Then Bobbie discovers the truth.

While the filmmaking has that cluttered, over-lit 1970s vibe, it's strikingly well-textured to reveal its surprises largely through the eyes of thoughtful eldest daughter Bobbie (the terrific Agutter), while both Thomsett and Warren are wonderful scene-stealers. Quirky wit adds a series of unexpected laughs, while there are moving moments all the way through the film. It's a sharply well-drawn depiction of the textures in society, how some people are innately kind, while others simply aren't. And it's the connections between people that brighten things up.

cert u themes, violence 15.May.22

© 2022 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall