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A few words about…™ The Railway Children (1970) – in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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Edith Nesbit's The Railway Children first appeared in serialized form in 1905 in The London Magazine, before it became a book the following year.

65 years hence, actor turned director Lionel Jeffries, brought the book to life, whilst giving young Jenny Agutter a place on the world screen. She would hit even bigger the following year with Nicholas Roeg's Walkabout. It would be another five years before Logan's Run.

A much-admired book - there were mumblings of plagiarism involving another story that arrived in 1896 and serialized in 1904 - is treated with great respect in the EMI production.

Kino has released the film on Blu-ray, and it's about time that it arrived, as it's a wonderful production, beautifully directed and acted, albeit on a constrained budget.

For those seeking a quality children's film, that won't bore adults, this is an excellent candidate.

The Blu-ray is generally pleasing, with only occasional granular oddities, if one if looking too closely. It's photographed by the great Arthur Ibbetson.

Color is fine when imagery is fully exposed. I presume that the source is a printing dupe of some sort.

I don't recall offhand how many actors appeared in later versions of an earlier film in which they were involved. Red Dust comes to mind.

Ms. Agutter originally appeared in a 1968 BBC mini-series, appropriately entitled The Railway Children, and followed it with the 1970 feature.

Thirty years later, would come a TV movie, in which she played the role of the mother.

Another variant, with a different storyline, but using the same title, will be released in 2022.

The film is a lovingly
produced class-act, and should be seen.


Image – 3.75

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Yes

Recommended

RAH
 
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titch

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Pretty sure this is the same master StudioCanal used for their region B release last year. This is a much-loved classic in the UK. Many of us had The Railway Children as an audiobook (on cassettes and vinyl albums) to listen to as children, before the invention of home video,

Two other notable Jenny Agutter-starring films, which have had recent stellar region B releases:

- Walkabout (1971) - a new 4K restoration from Second Sight. Much much better than the Criterion blu ray.
- I Start Counting (1969) - a 2K restoration from BFI. Her first film as a lead, a rarely seen and interesting film.
 

B-ROLL

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Pretty sure this is the same master StudioCanal used for their region B release last year. This is a much-loved classic in the UK. Many of us had The Railway Children as an audiobook (on cassettes and vinyl albums) to listen to as children, before the invention of home video,

Two other notable Jenny Agutter-starring films, which have had recent stellar region B releases:

- Walkabout (1971) - a new 4K restoration from Second Sight. Much much better than the Criterion blu ray.
- I Start Counting (1969) - a 2K restoration from BFI. Her first film as a lead, a rarely seen and interesting film.
RAH mentioned Walkabout and her other major exposure in Logan's Run ...
 

Bob Cashill

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Pretty sure this is the same master StudioCanal used for their region B release last year. This is a much-loved classic in the UK. Many of us had The Railway Children as an audiobook (on cassettes and vinyl albums) to listen to as children, before the invention of home video,

Two other notable Jenny Agutter-starring films, which have had recent stellar region B releases:

- Walkabout (1971) - a new 4K restoration from Second Sight. Much much better than the Criterion blu ray.
- I Start Counting (1969) - a 2K restoration from BFI. Her first film as a lead, a rarely seen and interesting film.
I START COUNTING, which is definitely worth watching, is also available Stateside on the Fun City label (via Vinegar Syndrome).
 

Thomas T

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I don't recall offhand how many actors appeared in later versions of an earlier film in which they were involved. Red Dust comes to mind. Ms. Agutter originally appeared in a 1968 BBC mini-series, appropriately entitled The Railway Children, and followed it with the 1970 feature. Thirty years later, would come a TV movie, in which she played the role of the mother.

RAH

These are off the top of my head but I'm sure there are many more:

Sean Connery as James Bond in Thunderball (1965) and again in the same role in the remake Never Say Never Again (1983).
Robert Mitchum as the psychotic Max Cady in Cape Fear (1962) and as the police lieutenant in Cape Fear (1991).
Faye Dunaway as an insurance investigator in The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) and a psychiatrist in The Thomas Crown Affair (1999).
Jerry Stiller as the father in Hairspray (1988) and Mr. Pinky in Hairspray (2007).
Charlton Heston as the astronaut in Planet Of The Apes (1968) and a dying ape in Planet Of The Apes (2001).
 

B-ROLL

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These are off the top of my head but I'm sure there are many more:

Sean Connery as James Bond in Thunderball (1965) and again in the same role in the remake Never Say Never Again (1983).
Robert Mitchum as the psychotic Max Cady in Cape Fear (1962) and as the police lieutenant in Cape Fear (1991).
Faye Dunaway as an insurance investigator in The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) and a psychiatrist in The Thomas Crown Affair (1999).
Jerry Stiller as the father in Hairspray (1988) and Mr. Pinky in Hairspray (2007).
Charlton Heston as the astronaut in Planet Of The Apes (1968) and a dying ape in Planet Of The Apes (2001).
Dick Van Dyke in both Mary Poppins films...
 

Dick

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Pretty sure this is the same master StudioCanal used for their region B release last year. This is a much-loved classic in the UK. Many of us had The Railway Children as an audiobook (on cassettes and vinyl albums) to listen to as children, before the invention of home video,

Two other notable Jenny Agutter-starring films, which have had recent stellar region B releases:

- Walkabout (1971) - a new 4K restoration from Second Sight. Much much better than the Criterion blu ray.
- I Start Counting (1969) - a 2K restoration from BFI. Her first film as a lead, a rarely seen and interesting film.

I'd be interested in the limited edition of WALKABOUT 4K, except that the UK exchange rate is pretty high and the shipping costs are abnormally inflated.
 

MatthewA

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And if TV counts, then Mackenzie Phillps as Julie Cooper on One Day at a Time on and off between 1975 and 1983 and then as a guest star on the streaming reboot.
 

Thomas T

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And who can forget Sally Thomsett, Jenny Agutter's sister in The Railway Children, as the very luscious Jo in 'Man About the House'. Was that seen in the States, I wonder.
Who can forget Sally Thomsett as the ill fated Janice whose death causes the siege in Peckinpah's Straw Dogs!
 

Will Krupp

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Jenny Agutter can also be glimpsed as Julie Andrews/Gertie Lawrence's daughter, Pamela, in STAR! ("It's less than a half hour since LUNCH!")
 

octobercountry

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I've seen both versions of "The Railway Children," but it's been so long ago that now I can't recall which one I liked better, or why. Guess it's time to try a re-watch.... Oh, I have a nice hardcover copy of the book signed by Jenny Agutter, which is kind of cool....
 

B-ROLL

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And who can forget Sally Thomsett, Jenny Agutter's sister in The Railway Children, as the very luscious Jo in 'Man About the House'. Was that seen in the States, I wonder.
I don't think it was as it was the "inspiration" for "Three's Company"

1623596080967.png



I take it she was the Suzanne Somers role: "Chrissy"
1623595955687.png
 
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MatthewA

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Jenny Agutter made a very good live-action dramatic film for Disney called Amy in 1981, sadly only available on DVD in an ancient transfer.
 

Tony Bensley

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However, at least some MAN ABOUT THE HOUSE episodes did air in Canada in the late '70s, via the Global Television Network!

Although the female leads character names were semi-reversed (With Jo, instead of Janet!), their personalities were consistent with their hair colour as their slightly later U.S. counterparts, especially in the later MATH series!

CHEERS! :)
 

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