Dir: Peter Richardson
Starring: Christian Slater and Miranda Richardson
A secret document reveals that Winston Churchill was in fact nothing more than an American GI
This is a hilarious spoof drama satirising the Hollywood distortion of war stories. The film makes extensive use of both the South Devon and the Paignton & Dartmouth Steam Railways, with Buckfastleigh station appearing as ‘Frothington-on-the-Waddle’ and Kingswear station appearing as ‘Buckingham Palace’! The South Devon was used for battle scenes featuring German soldiers at both Buckfastleigh and Bishops Bridge. These elaborate stunt sequences used ex-GWR locos in the form of 1600 Class 0-6-0PT No.1638 on a short freight, 2251 Class 0-6-0 No.3205 on a passenger train and 1400 Class 0-4-2T No.1420 on another short freight. Interestingly, No.1420 is uncoupled from its train by Steve Pemberton as the train crew take a rest, using an off-tracked pump trolley as a picnic table! In an earlier scene by the footpath crossing at the 2 ½ milepost, there is a good shot of GWR ‘Ocean Saloon’ No.9111 King George in the formation of the passing train. The filming at Kingswear used ex-GWR 4500-series 2-6-2T No.4555 Warrior at the head of the ‘Royal Train’, and in another scene Christian Slater jumps off the footplate of an unidentified loco, probably a pannier tank, as it pulls up alongside No.4555 (he boarded 1420 on the South Devon so has changed lines and locos but Kingswear seemed better suited to the requirements of the scene). During all this there is a montage sequence with a few night-time shots of trains thrown in. Several depict No.3205, but another shows what appears be a ‘stock shot’ of a BR Standard tender loco entering an unknown tunnel on a parcels train. Note the scene between Mackenzie Crook and Sally Philips in a station tearoom, followed by Neve Campbell’s response on Christian Slater’s arrival there. These are parodies of scenes from Brief Encounter, between Stanley Holloway and Joyce Carey, and Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson, respectively. All in all a fabulous rip roaring movie.