The Railway Children (1970) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Railway Children (1970)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Railway Children Photos

Movie Info

In this film, Dinah Sheridan plays the mother of three children who must live in reduced circumstances when her husband, a government official, is arrested on a false charge of treason. The kids adapt rather well to their new environment, a community located on the edges of a railway.


Critic Reviews for The Railway Children

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (5)

A wonderful piece of family entertainment in the sense that nobody could possibly take offence at anything they see on the screen and many will obviously find it a blow struck for sanity in a wicked incomprehensible world.

December 17, 2020 | Full Review…

The film - which sticks closely to E Nesbit's original dialogue and glows with a rural, pre-World War One innocence - is a classic in its own right.

December 22, 2014 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

It all slips down very nicely; Bernard Cribbins is terrific as railwayman Perks, and Jeffries' final scene... is justly celebrated

April 2, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Kids reared on the accelerated thrills of modern children's cinema might find the pacing a little lethargic but if you can persuade them to give it a chance, this sweet-natured family classic should work its magic.

April 2, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Jeffries mounts the whole thing with charm, humour and subtle smarts. And, let's face it, our obsession with Jenny Agutter, 11 years before American Werewolf, started here.

April 1, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

A wondrous family film that should captivate the young'uns - or at least those capable of responding to a motion picture that doesn't move at the locomotive speed of a superhero saga.

June 26, 2021 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Railway Children


This nearly perfect cinematic rendition of Edith Nesbit's popular children's novel follows the lives of Roberta (Bobbie), Phyllis, and Peter, and their mother, after their father is unfairly accused of treason and sent to prison. They go to live in an almost uninhabitable house in the country which stands near a railway line ? mum writes stories to make enough money for food and candles, while the children spend much of their time around the railway station and, specifically, waving to one particular train to 'send their love to father'. Always an involving and clever novel, the characters are here brought to life under the perceptive direction of Lionel Jeffries (better known as a fine character actor). Jenny Agutter plays Bobbie, while Sally Thomsett and Gary Warren are her sister and brother. Their mother is Dinah Sheridan, while the other memorable characters are played by Bernard Cribbins (Perks the railway-man) and William Mervyn (the old gentleman on the train). 'The Railway Children' is gentle entertainment from another age, but does its job beautifully. As we watch Bobbie grow up with the worries of an absent parent jostling against her own needs both to be alone and to have fun, we can only rejoice when events come together at the close of the picture. Throughout we have a sense of time and place ? be it from the steam trains, the university paper chase, or the red flannelette petticoats worn by the girls (and used to avert disaster!).

Cassandra Maples
Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer

The Railway Children Quotes

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