Dir: King Vidor
Starring: Robert Donat and Rosalind Russell
A young, enthusiastic doctor takes his first job in a Welsh mining town, and begins to wonder at the persistent cough many of the miners have
This classic drama is based on the 1937 A. J. Cronin novel of the same name and features two opening railway scenes. The first is a good shot of a GWR 5600 Class 0-6-2T on a local branch train passing through an unidentified location in the South Wales valleys, though the film was largely shot in Abertillery. The second features a night time arrival shot at a rain soaked ‘Blaenelly’, the actual identity of which is sadly not known. This second scene shows an LNER J15 Class 0-6-0 with ‘GREAT WESTERN’ lettering on its tender arriving with a rake of vintage six-wheeled ex-GER coaches. If one looks closely at the locomotive, a mock GWR cast numberplate can also be seen applied to the cabside, though it is impossible to distinguish a number. Some effort has gone into making this scene GWR when it is likely filmed somewhere on the old GER system, it is just a shame that the station remains as yet unidentified. During this sequence Robert Donat is seen onboard a train. Though this is a studio recreation, a rake of private owner coal wagons briefly passes as part of the usual ‘back-projection’. Notice that when Robert Donat alights from the train as the sole passenger, the carriage door closes behind him by itself! In a later overall view of Abertillery, a steam-hauled passenger train can be seen passing through the townscape, whilst a couple of trams are also visible in the background of one of the night time London street scenes.