GB 1971 1hr 43mins Dir: Mike Hodges Starring: Michael Caine and Rosemarie Dunham
A London gangster goes to Newcastle to avenge his brother’s death
Based on the 1969 novel Jack’s Return Home by Ted Lewis, this successful crime thriller has some very good railway scenes. The film’s opening begins with a train journey from London to Newcastle and we get shots onboard Mk2 coaching stock and some excellent drivers-eye views. Locations identifiable in these views are as follows: entering Barnet Tunnel with a Cravens Class 105 DMU very briefly glimpsed exiting, leaving Hadley Wood North Tunnel, approaching Arch Road over the railway to the south of Great Wymondley near Hitchin, the overbridges just north of Biggleswade, the now demolished cooling towers of Little Barford Generating Station, the approach to Peascliffe Tunnel and the yards around the Doncaster area. Viewed through the window of the train during this sequence are the British Oil & Cake Mills facility at Barlby on the approach to Selby in Yorkshire (still on the ECML at this time) and Newcastle Central station. The Class 55 ‘Deltic’ that passes on an express was at the site of Tempsford station, closed in 1956. Later in Newcastle itself, there are shots of King Edward VII Bridge and the High Level Bridge with several expresses made up of Mk1 coaches present on the former, and a DMU and a light engine Class 25 visible on the latter. The film ends with a chase on the northeast coast with the rail served North Blyth coal staithes featuring prominently in this sequence.