2hrs 11mins
Dir: Alberto Sordi
Starring: Alberto Sordi and Amy Dalby

An Italian antique dealer from Perugia visits England and tries to fit in with the British aristocratic life he dreams of

The title of this Italian comedy translates as Smoke Over London, one of three alternative titles by which it was known – the others are Gray Flannels and Thank You Very Much. During the film, Alberto Sordi has been invited to stay at the Duchess of Bradford’s country residence of Belvoir (pronounced Bee-ver) Castle in Leicestershire. The lengthy journey he undertakes to get there is the genuine thing, which seems to evolve around a trip on the Nottingham-Grantham line but it is a complex scenario that is best broken down into its constituent parts: 1) Alberto Sordi is seen onboard a DMU with a rake of open mineral wagons passing by on a siding outside, whilst in another glimpse out of the window, a 350hp shunter (Class 08?) sits in a goods yard on the end of a short freight. 2) A brief glimpse of a Class 114 ‘Derby Heavyweight’ DMU arriving into a platform packed with school children. The DMU is displaying Grantham on its destination blind. 3) Various views filmed onboard show more school children join at a sizeable station, then a shot that appears to show Bingham station outside the window. 4) Alberto Sordi then alights at another station where the tender of a steam loco can be seen in an adjacent platform 5) Scenes of Alberto Sordi at Bottesford, the closest station to the Belvoir estate, which include a closeup shot of a WD ‘Austerity’ 2-8-0 passing slowly through with a loaded iron ore train. 6) Later scenes on a return journey that show Alberto Sordi onboard another DMU as it departs from a station, presumably Bottesford, and arrives into another, possibly Nottingham Victoria, though it appears that a different station also seems to have been blended in because a train of maroon-liveried Mk.1’s is present in the ‘pulling in’ scene, but then not present in any of the others once the train has come to a stand. 7) One final shot of Sordi onboard what appears to be a suburban EMU. These scenes really are of interest because as the film is in colour, it shows the original interior and seat moquette of the Class 114 DMU’s to excellent effect. So far, this is the only known appearence of these DMU’s in a feature film.

This first shot shows Alberto Sordi sitting inside a First Class compartment of a DMU, but not a Class 114. Outside the window, a rake of mineral wagons pass by.
The next view out of the window shows a 350hp shunter standing in a goods yard on a short freight
Another shot of the goods yard shows an elevated water tank coming into view. This water tank, the concrete shed, and the background houses are all distinctive clues as to the location. But where is this?
A Class 114 DMU bound for Grantham arrives into a snowbound station
Alberto Sordi looks out of the window of a Class 114 DMU. Presumably, these are the same school girls, but is it the same station to that shown above. If so, where is it?
As one of the girls takes a seat opposite Alberto Sordi, the train begins to depart. The name on the seat appears to read Bingham, which is three stations down the line from Bottesford on the Nottingham-Grantham line. The problem here, however, is that the station shown in the image above is definitely not Bingham, which only has two platforms.
This shot shows the interior of a Class 114 DMU, looking from the centre standard class saloon into first class. The reason why you can’t see out of the cab windows at the end is because the unit is attached to another one!!
As Alberton Sordi alights from the train, the tender of a steam locomotive can be seen through the window taking on water (note the fireman sat on top)
This is a different station yet again! Alberton Sordi ponders his next move having alighted from the train at Bottesford.
The signal box can be seen in the background of this shot, which again is thought to be Bottesford
As Alberto Sordi asks the station master for directions, a work-stained WD ‘Austerity’ 2-8-0 passes slowly behind on an iron ore train
The return journey starts here, at an Eastern Region station that we shall assume is Bottesford. This is the interior of a First Class saloon of a Class 114.
As the train arrives into its destination, a train of maroon-liveried Mark 1 coaching stock is seen alongside in an adjacent platform
However, as Fiona Lewis gets up to leave, the coaches have gone, though it does give us a better view of the station in which the train has arrived
The third view from this sequence shows Alberto Sordi alone on the train, and it appears to be yet another different station. The distinctive arches of the retaining wall outside strongly suggest though that this is Nottingham Victoria, which closed completely from 4th July 1967.
This is not the interior of a DMU, so this final shot shows Alberto Sordi onboard a suburban EMU. Note the awful floral pattern seat moquette that was not used in the Class 114’s!