1hr 54mins
Dir: Anthony Asquith
Starring: Laurence Olivier and Margaret Rutherford

A Russian inventor recounts his observations of life in Britain at the start of the Second World War

This wartime comedy film was designed to encourage sympathy between Britain and the Soviet Union and despite being gentle satire it is a rather drawn out affair. The film features four short railway clips. The first is of a partially cut three-quarters shot of an unidentified loco standing at the head of a train, though this is nothing more than a model. The second shows SR T9 Class 4-4-0 No.705 pulling away from London Waterloo, the third is a going away shot of an express at dusk, the locomotive of which is not visible, and the fourth is a montage shot showing an express passing behind a map of Europe with a GWR ‘Castle’ Class 4-6-0 on the front. There is also a brief glimpse of a self-propelled steam crane at work in a dockyard. The station departure scene with train is a very obvious set.

This is the first railway shot of the film, and it clearly shows what is probably a Bassett-Lowke model in steam
There is no mistaken identity here, however. This is T9 Class 4-4-0 No.705 apparently pulling away from Platform 10 of London Waterloo. Where was the driver routed with ‘MT’ in the theatre box?
An express train heads off into the distance in this shot filmed at dusk, a shot that would reappear first in the 1945 film Perfect Strangers, then in the 1949 film A Matter of Murder (both qv).
Described in the narrative as ‘a German express train’ this is very much a ‘GWR express train’ with a ‘Castle’ Class locomotive at the helm. Note the map of Europe. This shot appears to crop up again in Gandhi (1982), minus the map of course.
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And for something a little more unusual, on the left of this shot of a busy dockyard is a self-propelled steam crane hard at work