In a bizarre display of public concern, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has received its first complaint relating to a U-classified film that came out forty-two years ago. An unnamed viewer has written in to complain about classic family drama The Railway Children, despite its release in 1970 after being adapted from Edith Nesbit's celebrated 1906 novel of the same name. The story follows three children, Bobbie, Phyllis and Peter - played by Jenny Agutter, Sally Thomsett and Gary Warren - who move to Yorkshire with their mother (Dinah Sheridan) in the events of their father's absence. Whilst there, they attempt to discover why their father (Iain Cuthbertson) disappeared. Their new house is near the railway and this forms a key location in the plot as they play there and meet an Old Gentleman (William Mervyn) who helps them reunite their family.
Jenny Agutter Played One Of The Railway Children 42 Years Ago.
According to the BBFC's annual report, as reported by BBC News, "The correspondent was concerned that children may be encouraged to play on railway tracks as a result of seeing the film." Thursday's report includes the BBFC's reaction to the concerns saying that it was "very unlikely" that "such dangerous activity" would be promoted by scenes of the Edwardian-era children spending time on a railway track. "The Railway Children is set in the Edwardian period and trains and access to railway property are very different today," says the organisation adding that if anything, impressionable children will be deterred from copying the characters: "The film also demonstrates the potential harm to children if proper care is not taken." Since it's release over four decades ago,
Watch A Clip From Treasured 1970 Film The Railway Children:
The Railway Children has been a much-loved and treasured family classsic for many generations, with its touchingly emotional plotline. The complaint is certianly anomalous and there appears to be no evidence of any copy-cat incidents, however it reflects the prescient anxiety over children's safety in a modern world where they perhaps might not be able to roam as freely and safely as they may have been able to in times past.