Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Fully Fitted Freight (1957)

Review in Monthly Film Bulletin - March 1960
(Joint review of 
Fully Fitted FreightGroundwork for Progress and A Future on Rail)
These three new British Transport documentaries indicate the current determination of many writers and directors, working on subjects somewhat lacking in immediate appeal, to humanise such topics by concentrating on the people behind the work rather than the job itself. But while all three suggest the problem posed by such an approach, none of them get very far towards a solution.
In Fully Fitted Freight, an account of the part played by freight trains in maintaining supplies all over the country, the effort at individualising the people shown descends to a false "mateyness" which is by now the sign of a Paul Le Saux commentary. Heavily overdone regional accents, an insistence on nicknames, and a taste for embarrassing puns add up to an alarming condescension, and the variety of styles employed seems the result of something like desperation.

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