1hr 28mins
Dir: Nigel Patrick
Starring: Nigel Patrick and Yvonne Mitchell

An atheist upsets the inhabitants of the village in which he has retired and dares God to strike him dead

This British drama was filmed entirely in Ireland and was based on the story The Trial of Johnny Nobody by Albert Z. Carr. The film has a railway journey towards the end which features truly excellent shots of a passenger train hauled by a CIE A Class loco in as-built condition. However, the white numerals on the all-over silver livery make the identity almost impossible to see in a black and white movie, though in one shot it looks like it could possibly be loco A12. A total of 60 of these British-built locos were constructed by Metropolitan-Vickers and supplied to Irish Rail. They were initially fitted with eight-cylinder two-stroke, port-controlled Crossley engines, and the film allows one to hear what these hugely unreliable 1,200hp engines sounded like prior to the entire class undergoing refurbishment. Noisy is the answer, and the warning horn sounds like an electronic equivalent of a steam locomotive whistle. A truly weird noise! The train was filmed on the Dublin, Wexford and Wicklow Railway with Carrickmines station featuring prominently in several scenes. Opened in 1854, Carrickmines was on the line from Dublin Harcourt Street station to Dundrum, Sandyford and Bray. It had closed in 1958 so all in all this is a unique glimpse of the past. The railway journey ends at Westland Row station in Dublin, renamed Dublin Pearse in 1966. There are also scenes filmed onboard the train, whilst the shots of Nigel Patrick clinging to the outside of a carriage whilst in motion are quite exhilarating. This is a very, very good film, with a well-constructed plot, and let’s not forget that it features the always beautiful and ever redoubtable Yvonne Mitchell.

The train approaches the camera in the opening railway scene.
The unidentified Metro-Vick seen in another shot.
I have discovered that over the years when an Irish railway scene appears in a film it will be good. It all stems from the fact that the relaxed attitude of the authorities in allowing things to be filmed ‘as they are’ has meant that some wonderful period scenes have been recorded for posterity. Here we have an original bi-lingual station sign. A British station would have had its identity altered. However, this won’t be the genuine article, merely a replica, as Carrickmines had already been closed for three years prior to the arrival of the film crew.
Which leads us on nicely to the locomotive. Film footage of the British-built Metro-Vick diesel-electrics in their all-silver, as-built, totally original condition is rare indeed. Here the train pulls into Carrickmines. It is just such a shame that the number cant be read.
Most of the scenes at Westland Row station in Dublin are of the characters and the train in close up. This is the best, and it shows Nigel Patrick walking down the platform disguised as a priest and carrying a box on his shoulder so as to avoid further scrutiny from the authorities!!