GB 2000 1hr 32mins Dir: Steven Woodcock Starring: Barbara Marten and Julia Deakin
A housewife forms an intense relationship with a female schoolteacher
This drama was set in 1950s Northern England and makes excellent use of both the East Lancashire and the Keighley & Worth Valley Railways. The East Lancashire Railway scenes were filmed at Bury Bolton Street and feature ex-LMS ‘Black Five’ 4-6-0 No.45337, BR Ivatt 2MT 2-6-0 No.46441 and a rare thing in the form of the unique two-car Derby Lightweight BMU (vehicles 79998+79999). The Keighley & Worth Valley scenes were shot largely at Damems level crossing and Ingrow Tunnel and feature BR Standard 2-6-4T No.80002, ex-LMS 8F 2-8-0 No.48431, ex-LNER Class J27 0-6-0 No.65894 and one of the former Manchester Ship Canal Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T’s (probably No.31 Hamburg), though this loco is only very briefly seen (which is just as well, because it would spoil the otherwise accurate railway cast). The region 2 UK version (79 mins) is shorter than the region 1 US version (93 mins) and is the preferred version of the director. The film was remastered in 2005 and cut back by 15 minutes for its 2006 British release, that is six years after its initial release stateside. However, the UK version on DVD contains behind-the-scenes documentaries, giving nearly an hour of extras with the trailer. Most people prefer the longer version because greater character interplay is evident between the two women on screen. The second documentary on the UK DVD release features deleted scenes and in it Woodcock explains that he felt the interplay worked well in the novel but slowed the story down on screen. Either way, the movie is devastatingly romantic, in an intimate, bottom of the heart way, but the longer version of the two should be sought. It also features a lot of very good railway footage. For once, a film accurately portrays its said period, in this case the 1950s, very well indeed, and it is very refreshing to see the trains of the period forming the backdrop to the entire story.