The Railway Children Return is a British World War II drama that focuses on the women and children left behind while the men fought in the war. The family-friendly film is set in the English countryside in 1944. Three young siblings, Lily (Beau Gadsdon), Pattie (Eden Hamilton) and Ted (Zac Cudby) Watts are evacuated to a Yorkshire village to escape the life-threatening bombing of their Manchester home.
Jenny Agutter, a popular British actress from the PBS series Call the Midwife, plays Bobbie Waterbury, the kindhearted matriarch she meets at the station. When the three Watts children struggle to accommodate because they want to stay together, Bobbie takes them to live with her family – schoolteacher/war widow Annie (Sheridan Smith) and teenage grandson Thomas (Austin Haynes).
Apparently the original ‘Railway Children’ was a hugely popular 1970 British film about a family of three who moved to a railway town. The film was based on a classic 1905 novel by E. Nesbit, but I (probably like most Americans) did not know either the book or the film from the 1970s. I was intrigued to learn that Jenny Agutter played Bobbie, the eldest of three siblings in this film, so the connection and reason for the “return” label is that she reprises that role in this film as a older adult. (After seeing this movie I would like to go back and watch the 1970’s movie.)
After settling into their new surroundings and enjoying the freedom of green fields to run through, the kids – led by teenagers Lily and Thomas – take on some local thugs. The film takes a more dramatic turn when they find an injured American soldier hiding in the railroad yard. Abe (KJ Aikens) is a black GI, and while he’s telling the kids he’s on a secret mission, he’s actually fleeing violence from some racist MPs.
“The Railroad Kids Return”
The film is directed by Morgan Matthews, distributed by Blue Fox Entertainment and written by Daniel Brocklehurst and Jemma Rodgers. The Railway Children Return is rated PG for Speech, Thematic Material and Some Violence and runs for 1 hour and 38 minutes. The film is fun and I really appreciate seeing a WWII film that is suitable for all family members to watch together. The film opens in a limited release September 23 with local venues including the Angelika Film Centers in Dallas and Plano where they are running a special BOGO promotion.
Angelika Film Centers, owned and operated by Reading International, has partnered with Blue Fox Entertainment to bring film lovers a special range of fun family entertainment. Guests attending a Railway Children performance can purchase two-for-one tickets from September 22-29. Moviegoers can buy their tickets directly on the Angelika Film Center website or at the box office. Guests can also visit the “dining car” (aka the concession stand) to take advantage of special popcorn and beverage offerings for children, their parents, and grandparents.