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Trains in old movies but not necessarily train movies

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Posted by M636C on Sunday, April 3, 2022 7:56 AM

I may have mentioned this one before...

A 1935 movie called "The Phantom Light" about a scheme to wreck ships by faking lighthouse lights in bad weather...

It starts with a journey on the Talyllyn railway behind a double Fairlie, including a woman in full Welsh traditional dress including hat changing the "staff" for the electric staff safeworking system. In the movie, she only speaks Welsh.

The sequence is only three minutes right at the start of the movie and is worth watching for the atmosphere of the line before preservation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVfqTJZi4AU

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Posted by 54light15 on Sunday, April 3, 2022 9:51 AM

I'm going to have to watch that film- fascinating-never seen a Double Fairlie in action before. Note the Model T Ford truck, they were built in the U.K. 

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Posted by M636C on Tuesday, April 5, 2022 8:01 AM

I started watching a 1931 movie "Mystery Train" starring Hedda Hopper, who I had only previously heard of as reporter on Hollywood activities. Fairly early on there was a nighttime train derailment. The real train shots were of a Southern Pacific Mountain type with a fairly crude model derailing. I found the actual movie tedious, so I scanned through for any further train sequences.

Around 58 minutes in there was a sequence where the sleeper-observation was detached by two criminals intent on stealing jewels from a passenger in that car.

Naturally the Westinghouse brakes didn't operate on either the car or the rest of the train (nor did the hand brakes later in the movie). There is a sequence around 59 minutes that shows the car being uncoupled from a moving train, which appears to be a real train. There is movement in the trees in that scene, which judging from other model sequences suggest that was real. There are a couple of further sequences of the observation running away down grade that look real (if speeded up for effect).

Around 1 hour there is a scene, obviously a model, showing the observation switched into a spur line seconds before being hit by a following train.

I can't see that they would use really good models and really poor models in the same movie.

Anyway, I recommend that anyone interested selectively watch the train sequences.

In one of the real train passing shots, the cast lettering reading "Southern Pacific Lines" can be seen on the side of the Vanderbilt tender. These views seem to have been photographed on steep, curved lines, possibly Chatsworth Rocks or possibly Cajon Pass.

But I can't recommend watching the movie.

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Posted by pennytrains on Tuesday, April 5, 2022 6:49 PM

I'm not going back to see if it was mentioned already, but I just saw the chase scene from the French Connection today with Gene Hackman trying to chase down the El to get the bad guy on the train!  Fantastic!

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, April 5, 2022 6:55 PM

First NDG, and now my favorite Plantagenet!

Strange you should mention this: I tuned in to watch that scene last Saturday!

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Posted by rixflix on Tuesday, April 5, 2022 8:20 PM

Despite it's title "Closely Watched Trains" neatly fits this thread's intent. A personal favorite.

Rick

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Posted by 54light15 on Tuesday, April 5, 2022 9:35 PM

I watched "Closely Watched Trains" I wanted to like it, but it was so boring! 

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Posted by rixflix on Wednesday, April 6, 2022 6:31 AM

It's the subtle, often cockeyed (unless you're a Czech) humor that brings me back to the film. Now Jerry Lewis, Adam Sandler and Jim Carrey are actors I could cheerfully strangle. I even keep people who like them at a distance.

Rick

rixflix aka Captain Video. Blessed be Jean Shepherd and all His works!!! Hooray for 1939, the all time movie year!!! I took that ride on the Reading but my Baby caught the Katy and left me a mule to ride.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Wednesday, April 6, 2022 3:49 PM

slightly off topic.  There is a train station that is often used in TV shows. Just saw a Blue Boods episode that used this station many scenes.  It appears to me that it is Hartford's train station.  It has high ceilings which eliminates most east coast stations.  Anyone recognize it?

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Posted by 54light15 on Wednesday, April 6, 2022 4:28 PM

It could be the Yonkers station. It was used in Boardwalk Empire. 

rixflix- I can't stand any of those guys either! 

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, April 6, 2022 5:47 PM

Adam Sandler and Jim Carrey are pretty good when they're not playing Adam Sandler and Jim Carrey.

Jerry Lewis is dead now so it doesn't matter.

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Posted by pennytrains on Wednesday, April 6, 2022 6:44 PM

I'll take Harpo, Chico, Zeppo and Groucho over almost anybody.  CowboyChefCaptainDunce

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, April 6, 2022 6:55 PM

pennytrains

I'll take Harpo, Chico, Zeppo and Groucho over almost anybody.  CowboyChefCaptainDunce

 

Or Stan and Ollie!  

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Posted by pennytrains on Wednesday, April 6, 2022 7:06 PM

Them too!  Big Smile

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, April 6, 2022 7:50 PM

Flintlock76
 
pennytrains

I'll take Harpo, Chico, Zeppo and Groucho over almost anybody.  CowboyChefCaptainDunce 

Or Stan and Ollie!  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWBi-1y6uO8

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by 54light15 on Wednesday, April 6, 2022 11:27 PM

Or the three wise men: Moses, Lawrence and Jerome. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fIRtr8dFX0 

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Posted by ORNHOO on Saturday, June 11, 2022 11:24 PM

Not a movie, but...

Recently I have been viewing episides of "Twelve O'Clock High" on YouTube. In this episode General Savage spends more screen time on and around the train to Inverness than in the "Picadilly Lily":https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDCbV_u3ZK4

 

 

 

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Posted by Gramp on Monday, June 13, 2022 6:19 PM

Saw "The Ladykillers" (1955) on public TV last night. Peter Sellers and Alec Guiness when they were young. Really neat UK steam played an intergral role in the film. 
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/d5/28/25/d52825c465b8b91cf3139f9f1d0bb808.jpg

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Posted by M636C on Thursday, June 16, 2022 8:17 PM

Gramp

Saw "The Ladykillers" (1955) on public TV last night. Peter Sellers and Alec Guiness when they were young. Really neat UK steam played an intergral role in the film. 
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/d5/28/25/d52825c465b8b91cf3139f9f1d0bb808.jpg

 

Not to act as a spoiler to the movie but the locomotive hauling the empty steel four wheel open wagons that play an important part in the story was a class V2 2-6-2.

https://www.lner.info/locos/V/v2.php

It is possible that multiple scenes with these wagons were filmed with the one train. The V2 is visible in one of the later scenes.

Peter

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Posted by azrail on Monday, June 20, 2022 12:13 AM

This year is the 50th anniversary of the release of the Steve McQueen movie "Junior Bonner". It was filmed July 1971 in the Prescott (AZ) area..including a scene at the Santa Fe station just north of Downtown Prescott. Apparently, they hire a Santa Fe crew to move a train back and forth while doing the filming.

At that time Prescott was the end of a branch off of the Phoenix subdivision (before 1962 it was a major point on the Phoenix line, with an engine house to service the helpers going west over the mountin range). The locals servicing the Clarkdale branch and the Iron King branch were based there until the mid-late 70s)

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Posted by 54light15 on Monday, June 20, 2022 10:22 AM

I've never been to a rodeo but Junior Bonner showed just how dangerous it is. It was interesting in how it showed them preparing their equipment and I can only imagine that they researched just what a cowboy does to make the picture credible. 

I have a scene of "The Ladykillers" on my layout. The area is based on the tracks going into King's Cross and just above a tunnel entrance is Mrs. Wilberforces's house and in front of it are the "musicians" walking toward it. Next to the tunnel entrance is a semaphore signal and just below that is a platform where a figure painted to look like Professor Marcus is standing. The semaphore wing doesn't exactly hit him, but it comes close. 

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Posted by 54light15 on Thursday, November 10, 2022 10:08 PM

Buster Keaton's "Go West" features stock car loading and various details about them. I didn't know that they had 2-piece sliding doors and ramps from the car to the platform similar to a handicapped ramp today. There are what appear to be hinged openings on the roofs of the cars- any idea what those are for? The movie is funny as hell and has a cattle stampede through 1925 Los Angeles. Looking at old entries, jeez, I mentioned this one before.  "Sorry bout that" as Agent 86 would say. 

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Friday, November 11, 2022 1:17 PM

54light15
what appear to be hinged openings on the roofs of the cars- any idea what those are for?

I think they are to lower hay or other feed to the animals

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Posted by pennytrains on Friday, November 11, 2022 5:47 PM

Yep.  To feed and water the animals between the mandated exercise stops.

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Posted by seppburgh2 on Friday, November 11, 2022 5:59 PM

That's Hollywood!

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, November 11, 2022 8:59 PM

pennytrains
Yep.  To feed and water the animals between the mandated exercise stops.

Regulatory stops required the animals to be removed from the cars for their period of feeding, watering and resting.  After the period they were reloaded to the cars and had another 24 to 36 hours before they had to be fed, watered and rested again.  That is why 'back in the day' there were stock pens at stations no one today would have expected there to be any.

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Posted by M636C on Thursday, November 17, 2022 7:06 AM

I just watched a 1990 Gene Hackman movie "Narrow Margin". The plot was that a woman witnessed a Mob murder and Hackman, a Deputy District Attorney went out to find her. They end up in Canada followed by hired killers and catch a train to Vancouver. The train seems to be largely Via Rail cars with some Canadian cars including a dome. The locomotive is a Canadian SD40-2 (with triple marker lights) painted in Via colours as applied to an F40PH. There are a lot of fights on the roof of the train in very scenic settings. Apparently there was a 1952 movie with the same title and plot, made in the USA.

Peter

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, November 17, 2022 8:43 AM

It was called 'The Narrow Margin', and I haven't been able to find a complete upload on the Internet, so I suspect someone is keeping the rights defended.

Here is a clip that gives you the flavor, though, with an opening shot that is right in line with this thread:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gSFxXH3TKOM

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Posted by 54light15 on Thursday, November 17, 2022 10:44 AM

The 1952 film has Marie Windsor, the very definition of a "Femme Fatale." 

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Posted by M636C on Thursday, November 17, 2022 6:00 PM

Here is the 1990 Trailer, almost all on topic...

Narrow Margin (1990) - IMDb

Some of the cars have no letterboard with the Via blue stripe on the narrow fluting, including those used for the studio close ups. These also have the name Via Rail Canada in the centre of the car. The dome looks like a real "Canadian" car at least. Credits include BC Rail, who might have owned the SD40-2.

Peter

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