Dir: Blake Edwards
Starring: Julie Andrews and Jeremy Kemp
During the First World War, an American pilot falls for a female spy
This elaborately mounted, WW1 musical, features an exhilarating railway scene towards the end that was filmed in Ireland, and in very unusual circumstances. In one of the oddest cinematic set-ups ever, preserved J15 Class 0-6-0 No.184 and a rake of historic rolling stock was used by the film makers under the pretence that any old Irish train resembles that of one in Continental mainland Europe! What was unusual is that the J15 was not steam worthy at the time, so a Metro-Vick 001 Class diesel No.A16 was borrowed from CIE, disguised as a baggage car, and tucked between the tender of the J15 and its train. The Metro-Vick provided the power, and the J15 provided the smoke effects. Perhaps equally surprising was the fact that this scenario worked pretty effectively. The sequence involves the train coming under attack from German aircraft and these scenes were filmed around Beauparc on the Drogheda-Navan freight only line that had closed to passengers in 1958. The Metro-Vick apparently worked regular links while carrying its disguise, including the 5.07pm Dublin to Bray suburban train on one occasion! The train is strafed by enemy fire and despite the historical inaccuracy of the ‘string back’ aircraft it is a well constructed scene. Even more elaborate was the initial railway station departure scene which saw the Palais de Justice in Brussels doubling as an Irish station with Jeremy Kemp chasing Julie Andrews through crowds of extras to a mock-up train in the platform, a scene that cost $100,000 to create. Even more difficult to comprehend when one sees that Dublin Pearse station was actually used in one shot for a real live departure!