1hr 34mins
Dir: Gary Sinyor
Starring: Peter Ustinov and Prunella Scales

An upper-class girl falls for a working-class boy

This hilarious film is a broad parody of British period films, especially the lavish Merchant-Ivory productions of the ’eighties and early ’nineties. Although it specifically targets A Room with a View, Chariots of Fire, Maurice, A Passage to India, and many other films, in a more general way Stiff Upper Lips satirises popular perceptions of certain Edwardian traits: propriety, sexual repression, xenophobia and class snobbery. Some early scenes were filmed on the 3’ gauge Isle of Man Railway with a train hauled by Dübs & Co. 0-6-0T No.15 Caledonia (running as Manx Northern Railway No.4) at Castletown station. There are also a number of run-by shots of the train and a riotous carriage interior set with a whole host of outrageous back projection scenes. Castletown station is called both ‘Howard’s Passage’ and ‘Ivory’s End’! Brilliant.

We shall start with the back-projection sequence with Samuel West and Robert Portal inside the train. The pair are both reading as the countryside rolls past
The countryside has been replaced by a black and white view, firstly that from a train hauled by a North American wood burning locomotive (which is visible through the left hand window)
which is replaced by this street scene full of cyclists ‘tring tringing’ their bells!
and then this low flying biplane!!
followed by a naval frigate!!!
There are some more conventional lineside views of the train as the credits roll. This one shows No.15 Caledonia (running as Manx Northern Railway No.4) passing through fields.
and passing a wooded copse
The train arrives into ‘Howard’s Passage’ with the occupants of the carriage completely oblivious as to what just happened outside their window
Yet all of a sudden the station has become Ivory’s End. See if you can work out where the station names have originated from.
The station master at Howard’s Passage / Ivory’s End, played by Jon Croft, meets the arrival of the train. Note the beautiful gold gilt lining to the CALEDONIA nameplate. The loco is the only 0-6-0 tank loco on the island, all the others are 2-4-0’s, and it takes its name from the traditional Latin name for Scotland.
Samuel West alights from the train. Whatever it may be called in the film this is Castletown station on the Isle of Man.
In this additional view, Charles Simon walks alongside the train