The Railway Children Review

Image for The Railway Children

E. Nesbit’s beloved tale of three children shipped off to live in the country beside a railway line with their mother after their father is arrested on mysterious spying charges and they are left penniless. Yet, it proves the making of them, as they disco


Re-released to mark its 40th anniversary but doubling as a fitting tribute to the talents of director Lionel Jeffries, this adaptation of E. Nesbit’s tale is a cinematic rite of passage for all British children. The plot is simple — three kids are sent to live with their mother in the country after their father is arrested for treason — and is essentially a set-up for some wizard pranks (averting a train wreck, a tunnel rescue) along with some more grown-up concerns. It is dated — it’s a film that advocates playing on railway lines — but Jeffries mounts the whole thing with charm, humour and subtle smarts. And, let’s face it, our obsession with Jenny Agutter, 11 years before American Werewolf, started here

A cinematic rite of passage that's a little frayed around the edges but still charming.