CONQUEST OF THE AIR (John Monk Saunders’ Story of Man’s Greatest Achievement)

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1hr 11mins
Dir: Zoltan Korda
Starring: Laurence Olivier and Franklin Dyall

A film charting the history of flight up until the Second World War

Although this drama-documentary concerns itself solely with air travel there is one railway scene. Towards the end there is a shot of a Southern Railway express pulling out of London Waterloo, possibly behind an N15 ‘King Arthur’ Class 4-6-0. There is also one very brief glimpse of a London tram and the shot of a station frontage, possibly London Victoria. The running time listed above is for the updated version that was released in 1940 to include footage of the Second World War, though the original version at 62 minutes still includes the railway footage. John Monk Saunders was one of the film’s writers.

The fortified Police Box may well be the centre piece of this shot but a London tram puts in a brief appearance as it trundles past on the right
What looks to be ‘King Arthur’ Class steam locomotive is pulling out of Waterloo with an express
This is a railway station, possibly London Victoria. There are not many with 16+ platforms. A very similar shot reappeared in the 1975 Imperial War Museum film Overlord (qv).