GB 1975 1hr 25mins Dir: Stuart Cooper Starring: Davyd Harries and Julie Neesam
A teenager is called up in 1944 and is killed in the D-Day landings
Taking its name from Operation Overlord, the code name for the Battle of Normandy, this powerful and passionate drama was filmed in black and white to allow for the inclusion of a large proportion of wartime newsreel footage. There is quite a large amount of railway shots appearing in these scenes, though the story used the Kent & East Sussex Railway and Tenterden Town station as a centre piece for the flashback scenes where a young soldier’s meditations give way to foreboding premonitions of death. A number of dream sequences took place onboard trains on the line and there is a good shot of the signal box at Tenterden Town. The actual wartime footage includes an excellent shot of LNER D16/3 Class 4-4-0 No.8797 passing through Newmarket station with a troop train, and a shot of a pair of LNER 0-6-0’s working hard on a train consisting largely of armoured tanks. The lead loco is a J19 with that behind being a J20, possibly No.8291. There is a shot of an LMS Class 7F ‘Super D’ 0-8-0 on a freight filmed, unusually, from a freight heading in the opposite direction, and another shot filmed from the rear of a freight train entering a tunnel, though the loco is not seen. There is also a close up going away shot of an express that looks to be hauled by an LMS ‘Patriot’ 4-6-0. Finally, there are several shots of passengers and evacuees at unknown station termini and a shot of an unknown Southern Railway station. Overlord remains today the only feature film ever produced by the Imperial War Museum, but a fine film it truly is.