It's a close-run thing, but despite the superb 2000 TV remake, the 1970 film adaptation of E Nesbit's classic children's tale remains the definitive version. With assured yet sensitive direction from Lionel Jeffries, it's an enduring, humorous and poignant tale about three Edwardian children who - after their father has disappeared - move with their mother to the Yorkshire countryside to start a new life. Here the local railway becomes their lifeline, and a source of hope and adventure.
As the tale progresses, the eldest of the children - Bobbie, superbly played by teenager Jenny Agutter - believes that there's a chance to track down their father through the kindness of a passenger that they regularly see on the train. Her siblings - played by Sally Thomsett and Gary Warren - offer strong support, but it's Bernard Cribbins - as station porter Albert Perks - who turns in a memorable performance, befriending the children and helping them in their endeavours.
Beautifully filmed with evocative shots of puffing steam trains and rolling English countryside, this is a wonderfully nostalgic and very enjoyable family film. Highly recommended.