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Film Reel Image. Moving Pictures.

Snow (1963)

Comprising train and track footage quickly shot just before a heavy winter's snowfall was melting, the award-winning classic that emerged from the cutting-room compresses British Rail's dedication to blizzard-battling into a thrilling eight-minute montage cut to music. Tough-as-boots workers struggling to keep the line clear are counterpointed with passengers' buffet-car comforts.

In a mere half-dozen films released between 1959 and 1975, director Geoffrey Jones revealed himself as an outstanding talent, embracing industrial filmmaking as consistent with a personal style, blending movement and sound into a joyous, rhythmic whole. Brilliantly aided by Wolfgang Suschitzky's shimmering camerawork, the Oscar-nominated 'Snow' is Jones' masterpiece. It's crisply invigorating enough to induce brief amnesia about our trains' notorious inability to cope with the white stuff - then and now. (Patrick Russell)

 

The work of Johnny Hawksworth and the legendary Daphne Oram on the soundtrack to this film is fantastic.
" I too remember 1963. It was my 13th birthday and I'd started a paper round just in time for one of the coldest hardest winters for years! If we had snow like that now, would anyone attempt to clear it or would it just be left and trains cancelled en-masse? Wasnt '63 also the year that Dr Beeching started to close so many of Britains railways? I was told that The Road Haulage Assn gave him a directorship for that, but dont know how true that is? Thanks BFI, a great vid of a lost world. "
" It was terrifyingly cold I was only 3½, we had to put a paraffin heater in the footwell of the car. The engine coolant froze and dad took the cap off the radiator!! I paniced as I was lost in a cloud of steam. The buses didn't run because the diesel had turned to jelly or something. My face was so cold it hurt to open and close my mouth. You don't forget winters like '63......it was never ending. "

 

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