Monday, 9 August 2010

Blue Pullman (1960)

Review in Monthly Film Bulletin - August 1960
It is difficult for a railway enthusiast to view the subject matter of this fascinating account of the new Manchester- St Pancras diesel Pullman train dispassionately. It opens with some intriguingly presented sequences of the train's trials, with boffins aboard and all manner of testing going on. Then, after scenes of the amenities and services provided by this business man's first class express, comes the lengthy, beautifully photographed and exciting final sequence of the train in action with many excellent shots from the air and from the driver's cab. It is a pity that the producers, for some inexplicable reason, appear reluctant to show the train starting and stopping properly: the arival at St Pancras in particular is sadly botched and comes as a let down after the vivid presentation of the Blue Pullman in motion. A very nicely made score by Clifton Parker, stylish editing and a commendable inclination to let the visuals speak for themselves: how pleasant indeed not to have an incessantly chattering commentator and, indeed, to have descriptive comments kept to a mininum.

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