THE PASSIONATE FRIENDS

GB
1949
1hr 35mins
Dir: David Lean
Starring: Trevor Howard and Ann Todd

A woman becomes entangled in a love triangle, but cannot give up her love for another man

This highly thought of romantic drama is based on The Passionate Friends: A Novel, published in 1913 by H. G. Wells. There are two suspenseful scenes filmed at a ‘deep-level Underground station’, though this has caused a lot of confusion over the years. The general consensus now is that it was largely filmed at Bank station on the Central Line, masquerading as ‘Park Street’ in the film, but it is thought that a certain element of studio reconstruction took place, particularly at the earlier Underground station whose name begins with ‘Bishop…’, though this too could again be Bank renamed. It is difficult to judge today just how much filming took place at Bank because the station has undergone huge redevelopment and to confuse matters further there is a glimpse of 1938-built tube stock which never ran on Central Line services, but did run on Northern Line services which also serve Bank. The scene onboard the tube train and that filmed at ‘Victoria station’ are definite sets. There is an earlier scene filmed onboard a boat on the River Thames and a tram can just be glimpsed crossing Waterloo Bridge.

If one looks carefully at this shot of Ann Todd and Trevor Howard taking a boat trip on the Thames you can see a tram crossing Waterloo Bridge in the top left hand background
This is the platform of ‘Bishop…’ station on the Underground. This is possibly a very detailed set but I believe this to be the southbound platform 3 of Bank on the Northern Line. Note the BISHOP wording on the station roundel appears to be printed on a sheet of paper pasted over the real name (you can see the ripples!).
When discussing the station scenes, no mention is made of the train that appears. Trains are very difficult to fake and it becomes quite apparent when a model, or a studio recreation is substituted instead. Here, a train of 1938-built stock arrives into Bank on the Northern Line. Although these scenes are thought in part to use sets, which includes the interior of a tube train, this is undeniably the real thing as one can even see the motorman through the right hand cab window.
‘Park Street’ Underground station. This is said to be a very accurate studio-based reconstruction of the eastbound Central Line platform at Bank. In my humble opinion though it is always the track which gives the game away in these instances and here it looks to be the real deal. If one looks closely you can see the rubbing marks from the collection shoe on the negative centre 4th rail.