PERFECT STRANGERS

GB
1945
1hr 42mins
Dir: Alexander Korda
Starring: Robert Donat and Deborah Kerr

A quiet and unadventurous married couple become revitalised during the war

This wartime drama features various shots of passing express trains, but they are sadly all filmed at night making identification of the locomotives almost impossible. One maybe hauled by a ‘Royal Scot’ 4-6-0, but otherwise the locomotives remain unknown. The scene at ‘Waterloo’ station was likely a set. The film was released in the US under its alternative title Vacation from Marriage and had its running time reduced by nine minutes.

This establishing shot of a busy station concourse at night appears to show Waterloo, except the differences are too great. This therefore is likely a stage set, with the clever use of a matted backdrop
This shot of an express heading towards the setting sun first appeared in the 1943 drama The Demi-Paradise then reappeared in the 1949 film A Matter of Murder (both qv).
This train appears to have a medium-sized tender loco at the helm, possibly a 2-6-0.
A ”double-headed’ train crosses a river bridge
Although this express is in the dark and passes in extreme closeup the smoke deflector suggests that the loco maybe a ‘Royal Scot’ 4-6-0.
There are several images in this film of rolling track and passing telegraph wires. If one is familiar with the Night Mail documentary of 1936 then you will know where they originated from. This shot too, of a distant express passing silently up Beattock was also taken from Night Mail. Of note here though is that there are two plumes of smoke, the smaller belonging to a banking engine. The shot has also been reversed.