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The Titfield Thunderbolt Blu-ray Review

Thunderbolt

“The Titfield Thunderbolt” is an endearing British comedy.

After learning the British Railways are closing the Titfield to Mallingford line, a few locals (A Vicar named Sam and a young man named Gordon) band together to run their own line after receiving backing from a wealthy drunkard (Walter). As they assemble a team to operate the train, they find themselves being sabotaged by a bus company. Can the rag-tag group of amateurs succeed in making their ambitious plan a reality or are they doomed to fail?

Directed by Charles Crichton and written by T.E.B. Clarke, 1953’s “The Titfield Thunderbolt” is an Ealing Studios movie that is once again about a small village, a tight knit community, and people working together to achieve a goal. Familiar as though it may be, it’s a charming and very visual British situational comedy. Sure, it gets a bit silly in the end, but the exquisite location shooting, riveting train sequences, tight pacing, a complete story that never feels rushed, and a wonderful ensemble cast of characters make this one a winner. Besides, where else are you going to see a sequence involving a steam roller vs. a train?

While some of the past Ealing titles I have reviewed recently lacked character, ‘Thunderbolt’ actually has a surprising amount of it. Yes, some characters are mere plot points, but the train loving Vicar Sam (George Relph), the booze loving Walter (Stanley Holloway), the broke, pipe smoking Dan Taylor (High Grffith) are well rounded. Simply put, there’s a wide assortment of characters here that are fun to go on this journey with.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.37:1 1080p. How does it look? The Technicolor colors look a little washed out, but this is an otherwise crisp print of this classic movie.

Audio Track: LPCM Mono. How does it sound? A nice clean Mono track.Extras:
* Still gallery
* “The Titfield Thunderbolt” trailer
* A booklet featuring credits, photos, and notes by author Ronald Bergan.
* An audio interview with “The Titfield Thunderbolt” cinematographer Douglas Slocombe about director Charles Crichton.
* “Locations Featurette”- A then and now look at locations featured in the film.
* “The Lion Locomotive Featurette”- A brief history of the Lion Locomotive on display at a museum.
* “Douglas Slocombe Home Movie Footage”
* “Making The Titfield Thunderbolt”- Interviewees talk about ‘Thunderbolt’ and its history

April 20, 2020 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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