Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

Film competition – part 9

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

GWR Castle Class 4-6-0. Still from The Ghost Train.

Our last competition was a little mean. We think a few more BTWT readers would have guessed that the last still was from the 1941 remake of The Ghost Train, if we had used a clip from the shot above. At the start of the film, the train engine – shown running westwards along the seawall at Teignmouth – is either 4084, Aberystwyth Castle, or 4094, Dynevor Castle. The number on the front buffer beam is not altogether clear. Then for  a brief couple of seconds the train engine is shown as a ‘streamlined’ GWR 4-6-0.

It is said that GWR CME, Charles Collet, had been pressurised by the GWR board to try out streamlining. Only two engines were subjected to the treatment – Castle class 5005, Manorbier Castle, and King class 6014, King Henry VII. By the time the film was made, both engines had lost much, though not all, of their streamlined ironmongery. Which of the two engines, the Castle or the King, was used in the film? It is difficult from the rather dark clip to be absolutely sure. Perhaps one of our GWR experts could identify the engine and give his reasons why?

The Ghost Train was originally written as a play by Arnold Ridley and, as such, became a great hit. Ridley was inspired to write it after becoming stranded overnight at Mangotsfield railway station near Bristol. The station was situated on two sides of a a triangle and one of the three routes by-passed the station. The sound of  ‘invisible’ trains apparently passing through the station gave Ridley the inspiration to write the play. The play was filmed many times. Our stills are from the film directed by Walter Forde and released by Gaumont in 1941. The film is a treasure chest of GWR memories. It is available as a DVD through Amazon UK for £6-99.

Ghost Train [DVD] [1941]

The winner of our last round? Gavin Whitelaw, Mark Judd and John Savery submitted corrected answers, but Gavin dashed in first to take the point. The score so far: Mike Winslow and Gavin Whitelaw joint first with 3 points, Alex Fitch and Dyspozytor trailing behind with one point each. A word of warning – so far the going has been relatively easy. Now it’s time bring on our fast bowlers!


Today’s mystery film. It’s a googly!

Film competition – part 7

Monday, 26 September 2011

This second clip from Train of Events shows the technical difficulties of recording moving pictures on film in low light conditions.

The last mystery picture was from the shed sequence in Train of Events. Congratulations to Gavin Whitelaw and Mike Winslow for identifying the film. Mike Winslow beat Gavin by a couple of hours and so takes the point. The score now is: Gavin Whitelaw and Mike Winslow both in the lead with 2 points, Alex Fitch and Dyspozytor trailing behind with one point each.

Train of Events was made by Ealing Studios in 1949 and stars Jack Warner and Gladys Henson. Express locomotives had already been hastily repainted in an early British Railways livery while less prestigious engines still carried LMS markings. The locomotives seen in the train include two LMS  Jinty class 0-6-0Ts, and a LMS Royal Scot class 4-6-0 plays a leading role. Much of the initial filming was carried out at Willesden Shed – a favourite location in my gricing days. As well as masses of railway technical detail from the days of steam on the ex LNWR main line, the film accurately portrays the hierarchical social relationships in a large steam shed. Train of Events is available on DVD from Amazon UK for only £6:93.

Train of Events [DVD]

Today’s mystery still is from one of several ‘metro’ stills which feature in our competition. The film is very well known, so again no clues. First one with the correct answer gets the point.

A still from our 7th mystery film.

Film competition – part 3

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Another still from Jacques Tati’s Les Vacances de M. Hulot.

At first, Monday’s still stumped everybody! But then, to be fair to BTWT’s readers, it was from a rather uncharacteristic shot that only lasts a few seconds. A day later, the answers started rolling in. Gavin Whitelaw and Mike Winslow correctly identified the still as being from Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday. Above is another still with a typical incident from this very funny film. Gavin was first with the right answer, so he takes the point.

If you have not got a copy of Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday then you may be interested in buying the film. It has recently been digitally remastered by the National Film Institute and is available from Amazon UK for £10:93 (including delivery in the UK). Buying it by clicking the link below gives BTWT a small percentage of the proceeds.

Les Vacances de M. Hulot  (1953)  Blu-ray + DVD

Judging how well BTWT readers have coped with quite obscure films, the next still should produce dozens of correct answers. If you want to take part in our competition, and can identify the film from the still below, then post the answer as a comment as quickly as you can.

Today’s mystery film should be easy!

Competition rules: