HEAVENS ABOVE!

Image result for Heavens Above! 1963

GB
1963
1hr 53mins
Dir: John Boulting
Starring: Peter Sellers and Irene Handl

A naive but caring prison chaplain is accidentally assigned as vicar to a small and prosperous country town

This hilarious satirical comedy is an absolute blast. It features a scene outside Shepperton station in the pouring rain, and a night shot of a passing express train hauled by an ex-LMS rebuilt ‘Royal Scot’ Class 7P 4-6-0, possibly No.46157 The Royal Artilleryman. This shot appeared first in The Set Up (qv), then went on to appear in five others over a fifteen year period (see picture below). The only other point of note in this film is that Eric Sykes and his family are first seen living in the grounded body of an old clerestory coach!

Shepperton station in the pouring rain. The station building has today been substantially rebuilt.
Peter Sellers outside Shepperton station. The porter behind him has his hands full!!
Brock Peters takes pity on Peter Sellers and offers him a lift. Note that the station is masquerading as ‘Orbiston Parva’.
This shot first appeared in The Set Up, released in February 1963. Three months later it appeared in Heavens Above!, then five months after that it was seen in From Russia with Love. It then went on to feature in Night Train to Paris (1964), Dr Terror’s House of Horrors (1965) and then The Thirty Nine Steps (1978), only in reverse! A near identical shot showing an ex-LMS ‘Crab’ 2-6-0 passing on a freight appeared in the 1966 British Transport Films production Forward to First Principles, suggesting that this shot too was initially filmed for a BTF production.