THE FLYING SCOT

Image result for the flying scot 1957

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.

A busy shot of London Paddington at night, which has also been seen in The October Man (1947) and Serena (1962), with a near identical day time version cropping up in The Mind Benders (1963).
The driver of ‘Hall No.6942 Eshton Hall looks back at the camera as his steed slowly begins to pull away
As the train draws out the carriage roofboards denote a Shrewsbury-bound service. The first coach is BR Mk.1 Brake Corridor Second No.34801.
An ex-GWR ‘King’ Class 4-6-0 with stencil headcode ‘187’ speeds through a cutting
As the camera pans around and follows the train’s progress, it looks to be a deep cutting on the approach to a tunnel
Could this be an express in the same cutting but on the opposite side of the tunnel?
A ‘King’ Class 4-6-0 arrives into London Paddington with an express.
Forming a wonderful silhouette against the night sky, an unidentified steam-hauled service heads across an embankment. This shot and several other ‘scenic’ ones from this film appeared in Six-Five Special the following year (qv).
An ex-LMS ‘Duchess’ class 4-6-2 crosses a river or canal somewhere on the West Coast main line
Moments later a slow moving freight slogs passed in the hands of an 8F Class 2-8-0
The ‘Pembroke Coast Express’ arrives into Paddington’s platform 8 behind ‘Castle’ Class 4-6-0 No.7024 Powis Castle
As the camera pans around we see that the third coach is a wonderful Collett Restaurant Car
Alan Gifford gets to work on the carriage partition. This shot has been included to show the authentic looking compartment interiors created by the props department. This is where most of the action takes place.
Kay Callard leaves the compartment and enters the corridor. This is more obviously a set as it is not quite as realistic looking as the compartment interiors.
The platform departure scenes were also studio bound and this again shows. The carriages are clearly wooden mock ups as the windows are to shallow and the roofs too deep but as sets go its a pretty good effort all round.