1hr 34mins
Dirs: John Boulting and Roy Boulting
Starring: Barry Jones and Olive Sloane

An atomic scientist threatens to blow up London unless nuclear research stops

This brilliant thriller is based on the book Un Nazi en Manhattan by Fernando Josseau and it features the magnificent Olive Sloane, but more on her later. A huge amount of railway footage appears in this film with London Waterloo featuring a lot, though there are rarer glimpses of London Cannon Street. A variety of Southern Railway traction can be seen at Waterloo, including an M7 0-4-4T, a Maunsell S15 Class 4-6-0, 4 COR EMU’s, and 4 SUB EMU No.4162 arriving into platform 1 on a headcode I bar service. There are then some scenes filmed on the London Underground with a train of 1938-stock at Trafalgar Square station on the Bakerloo Line, though Barry Jones eventually leaves from Westbourne Park. There are also scenes that show emergency evacuee and ambulance trains being formed in carriage sidings at both Stewarts Lane and Clapham Junction. Unsurprisingly, there are vast numbers of Southern Railway coaching stock present in these scenes but the rear of a small tank loco can also be seen in the opening establishing shot of the sidings at Clapham Junction. In addition to all this, there is a closeup shot of 2 BIL unit No.2047 and a 4 COR EMU passing through Wandsworth Cutting, and a ‘Castle’-hauled GWR express heading off into the sunset at Southall. Finally, there is a brief scene with soldiers checking the London Underground for the escaped scientist and this uses the running tunnels and platforms at Edgware Road. At this point, I must be forgiven for digressing somewhat from railways to mention Olive Sloane, the most beguiling of all actresses. Her film career spanned over 40 years from the silent era through to her untimely death at the age of 66. Sloane’s career trajectory was unusual in that for most of her professional life she was essentially an anonymous bit-part actress and her best, most substantial roles came relatively late in her career, when she was in her fifties. However, she had such a powerful on-screen presence that her brief appearances would often form the entire basis of the scene in which she featured, raising the bar in what would otherwise have been a fairly ordinary sequence. Part of her life remains a mystery as she disappeared from view between 1925-1933, though it has since been discovered that part of this time was spent touring with a stage company in New Zealand. After 1933, Sloane rapidly began to accumulate credits in British films. The majority of these were cheaply made quota quickies which immediately vanished into oblivion but, occasionally, there was a higher-profile and more prestigious production such as the 1933 musical The Good Companions alongside Jessie Matthews, and Gracie Fields star vehicle Sing As We Go the following year. Her most famous role was in this film, but even in Seven Days to Noon, 41 minutes pass before we are graced with her presence. The character of Goldie was written as an ageing ex-chorus girl, brassy, excessively made-up, and cheaply and gaudily dressed, whiling away her days gossiping and tippling in local public houses. Although not explicitly stated, the script strongly implied that Goldie relied on casual prostitution to make ends meet. With the open and unquestioning way in which she offered assistance and shelter to Barry Jones (‘You seem such a gentlemen my dear’), and her devotion to her little dog Trixie, Goldie came across as a cheerful, good-hearted soul, and Sloane’s performance earned much praise from critics for the mixture of humour and pathos she brought to Goldie’s character, in a way that a younger or more glamorous actress (was there such a thing?) would unlikely have been able to achieve. And remember, this was a film in which she appeared for a little less than half its length. The film has stood the test of time well and remains a wonderful tribute to her memory.

As a train runs into Waterloo the credits roll by forming in an interesting juxtaposition against the rolling background. Coming into view on the right we have an M7 0-4-4T and an S15 Class 4-6-0.
And a moment later, the S15 comes fully into view blocking any further glimpse of the little tank loco now behind it
This is a 4 COR EMU with Waterloo-Portsmouth-Isle of Wight roof boards, though of course it won’t actually be going to the Isle of Wight itself, merely depositing its passengers in Portsmouth for a ferry to the island!!
Commuters arrive and trains come and go in this classic view of Waterloo. The train on the left is pulling into platform 1 led by 4 SUB EMU No.4162. It has headcode I bar on the front, so has either worked in from Effingham Junction or Guildford via Epsom; or in from Woking via Richmond and Ascot. The train on platform 2 looks to be formed of ancient suburban coaching stock with a steam loco just visible at the opposite end.
Passengers at Cannon Street station
Logically, these escalators should be those at Trafalgar Square station where the rest of this scene was filmed
Hugh Cross and Shiela Manahan on the Bakerloo Line platform at Trafalgar Square with a 1938-stock train in the platform. The station has since been vastly rebuilt along with Strand to form the modern day Charing Cross.
As the train departs it appears to have a 1923 Standard stock car as part of the consist, as evidenced by the deeper windows and the red and cream livery.
This is the circulating area at Trafalgar Square giving access to the platforms left and right
Part of the booking hall at Trafalgar Square Underground station. Notice that the ceiling appears to be the same as that visible at the top of the escalators in the earlier shot.
Barry Jones leaves Westbourne Park Underground station on what is today part of the Hammersmith & City Line
The carriage sidings at Clapham Junction as viewed from the footbridge. Virtually every type of passenger carrying vehicle looks to be present here yet only one locomotive can be seen, that of an unidentified tank in the foreground.
Carriage staff apply stickers to the sides of carriages in this shot, probably taken at Stewarts Lane as a freight train is just visible through the arches of the background bridge.
Back at Clapham Junction now for this shot of a passenger train being shunted
A packed concourse at Waterloo
Evacuees rush to board their allocated train. This is real, and not a set, and though it is unclear as to where this was filmed, it was probably Waterloo
A train packed full of evacuated Londoners leaves Waterloo
This excellent run-by from close to ground level shows 2 BIL unit No.2047 passing beneath Battersea Rise bridge in Wandsworth Cutting, just west of Clapham Junction. The unit is working headcode 12, Waterloo-Alton, and is passing a 4 COR EMU on the right.
This stock-shot is the odd one out, When all else in the film shows the Southern Region this shows the Western Region at Southall. A ‘Castle’ Class 4-6-0 roars off into the sunset at the head of an express, the setting sun glinting off the highly intricate point work.
Waterloo lies abandoned and desolate after everyone has been successfully evacuated
Another surreal shot of the concourse at Waterloo
Soldiers search the Underground, thought to be the Bakerloo Line platform tunnel at Edgware Road
An actress from a different era