GB / ITA
Dir: Alan Bridges
Starring: Richard Burton and Sophia Loren
The story of a couple’s brief, but fated, love affair
This unsuccessful and thankfully little-seen remake of David Lean’s 1945 classic does at least feature some decent railway scenes. All of the action was filmed at Brockenhurst station, in the New Forest, Hampshire, and there are plenty of shots of blue & grey liveried Southern Region Class 423 4 VEP EMUs, including No’s 7816 and 7834 (identifiable through vehicle No.71015). There is also a scene of Sophia Loren onboard a VEP as it is departing Brockenhurst in the up direction, the blue seat moquette and orange curtains are how I really remember trains. Interestingly, the opening credits feature a passing mixed freight but the loco, a blue-liveried Class 33, is sadly not identifiable. There is also one shot filmed at Shawford station in Hampshire, with 4 VEP No.7734 arriving on headcode 93 (a slow service to/from Waterloo). The final scene when Sophia Loren contemplates suicide features an express service headcode 91 (a fast service to/from Waterloo) with a 4 REP EMU leading (No.30??). There has been much confusion over the location of this remake as Richard Burton’s character works in Winchester and a number of scenes were filmed in the city with the cathedral taking precedence in one meeting between the fated couple. This confusion is added too still further when we see that for a number of station scenes the signs at Brockenhurst station were amended to read ‘Winchester’. As a result of this, many publications over the years have stated that the station used for the film was Winchester, but other than one very brief external shot of the entrance there, all the major station scenes used Brockenhurst, junction for the Lymington branch. It is only until very recently that this has begun to be corrected. In a rather cruel twist of irony, this dreadful film features more genuine railway footage than the original. See the website introduction for more information on this film and the impact it had on me.