THE OCTOBER MAN

GB
1947
1hr 50mins
Dir: Roy Ward Baker
Starring: John Mills and Joan Greenwood

A man is suspected of murder but as he is recovering from a head injury he begins to doubt his innocence

This truly excellent film noir features a number of railway scenes but most of these are filmed in the studio using sets and models though they are surprisingly atmospheric, especially those of the express trains passing beneath the road bridge on which John Mills stands contemplating suicide (this was in fact Amersham Hill railway bridge in High Wycombe). The scene where John Mills is chased at a station also uses a studio reconstruction, though there is a real shot of the platforms of London Paddington station in a later scene and there are several shots of the frontage to ‘Brockhurst Common’ station, the real identity of which has not yet been discovered. Amidst all this apparent chaos a real train does feature in the form of a rather good stock shot of LMS 4P ‘Compound’ 4-4-0 No.1038, one of the original 45 Midland Railway Class 1000’s working a Midland main line express. There is also an indistinct view of a passing express at night close to the start of the film.

An express passes a country lane in the pouring rain at night
Former Midland Railway Class 1000 ‘Compound’ 4-4-0 No.1038 works an express somewhere on the Midland.
This is ‘Brockhurst Common’ station, but where is it really?
The ubiquitous stock shot of London Paddington thrown in for good measure. This has also appeared in The Flying Scot (1957) and Serena (1962), with a near identical day time version cropping up in The Mind Benders (1963).