Fully Fitted Freight (1957)
21 minutes

How an express freight train links manufacturers with their customers at the other end of Britain. The fast moving fully fitted freight train, the 4.48 pm Bristol to Leeds, provides a typical example of merchandise being transported at high speed by British Railways. We learn something, too, about the men who do the work as well as the goods they handle.

Director: Ralph Keene
Photography: Ronald Craigen
Commentary: Paul le Saux
Narration: James McKechnie
Editor: Ralph Sheldon
Producer: Ian Ferguson
Executive Producter: Edgar Anstey

Certificate: U
Distributor: New Realm

16mm & 35mm (1,848 ft.)

Additional Information - Muir Mathieson conducts the music score for this production - 'Overture of the Wasps' by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Review in Monthly Film Bulletin - March 1960 (spotted by Robin Carmody)
(Joint review of Fully Fitted Freight, Groundwork 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.

Actual screen shots reproduced by kind permission
of the British Film Institute.

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