GB 1957 1hr 10mins Dir: Compton Bell Starring: Lee Patterson and Kay Callard
A team of crooks attempt to rob an overnight train of its used bank notes
This low-budget B-movie is really rather good and its taut suspense and crisp dialogue raises the game where many others of the period fail. It also has a good number of railway scenes. Interestingly, the first 12 minutes of the film is the imagined planned robbery sequence without dialogue, and involves the robbers retrieving the money by occupying the compartment next door and gaining access to it by taking the seats and adjoining partition apart. Railway shots during this sequence include, in the following order; a general view of London Paddington station with the announcer giving details of an ‘overnight express for London’!; a three-quarter rear shot of ex-GWR ‘Hall’ Class 4-6-0 No.6942 Eshton Hall leaving Paddington on a Shrewsbury express; three different shots of streamlined ‘Duchess’ Class 4-6-2’s on expresses at night, one of which is a going-away shot (all three of which are stock shots from Brief Encounter 1945 (qv), though of course the last streamlined ‘Duchess’ ran in 1949); an ex-GWR ‘King’ Class 4-6-0 with stencil headcode ‘187’ in a deep cutting leading to a tunnel; night shots of several express trains though they are all too dark to discern any details; and a ‘King’ Class 4-6-0 arriving into London Paddington with an express (a shot which also appears in 6.5 Special (qv)). During the actual robbery which follows the same shots are used, but with three extra ones put in, namely; an interesting view of a ‘Duchess’ Class 4-6-2 overtaking a slow moving ex-LMS 8F Class 2-8-0 on a freight on a bridge crossing a river; a ‘going-away’ shot of a silhouetted express on an embankment at night, again the loco of which is not discernible; and an arrival into London Paddington of the ‘Pembroke Coast Express’ behind ‘Castle’ Class 4-6-0 No.7024 Powis Castle. As well as the headboard, the loco’s front end is also displaying the stencil headcode ‘753’ whilst the carriages bear ‘London Newport Cardiff Swansea’ destination boards. All other ‘railway’ scenes are studio sets, yet the props department seem to have built some very accurate copies of the compartment stock interiors.