As part of Warrington Festival, Culture Warrington, in partnership with Virgin Trains, will be screening four films that have all been inspired to use train journeys to portray compelling stories about love, murder and journeys on the rails.
Some of the greatest stories ever to be shown on the big screen will be screened at a unique and intimate venue in Bank Quay train station in a small dis-used outhouse at the end of Platform 2 from Thursday 22 September-Sunday 25 September.
Each film selected brilliantly uses train travel as the backdrop to deliver some of the greatest stories ever to be told on train tracks.
The first film to be screened as part of the event is Silver Streak (1976) which features the late great Richard Pryor and sadly more recently enigmatic Gene Wilder. It tells the story of George Caldwell (played by Wilder) who is taking a slow restful trip to Chicago on the Silver Streak. Or so he thinks. He’s involved in a love affair, a murder, is thrown from the train, wanted by the police, and joins forces with a car thief to re-board the train to save his love.
Next, a classic whodunit from Agatha Christie featuring some of the greatest ensemble ever to grace the big screen, Murder on the Orient Express (1974) begins with Hercule Poirot who is travelling from Istanbul to France on the Orient Express. On the first night the man in the next compartment is murdered. Once he starts investigating, Poirot faces a barrage of conflicting clues and potential motives.
Buster Keaton’s The General (1926) will also be part of the film fest. It’s 90 years old this year and is still one of the most awe-inspiring films you will ever see. Keaton stars as Johnnie Gray who loves his train (“The General”) and Annabelle Lee. When the Civil War begins he is turned down for service because he’s more valuable as an engineer. Annabelle thinks it’s because he’s a coward. When Union spies capture The General with Annabelle on board, Johnnie must rescue both his true loves.
Lastly and by no means least, finishing the remarkable quartet of films is David Lean’s sumptuous adaptation of Noel Coward’s Brief Encounter (1945). A love story to end all love stories, this tale of unrequited love takes in 1945 during WWII in and around the fictional Milford railway station. At a café on the station, housewife, Laura Jesson meets Doctor, Alec Harvey. Although they are both already married, they gradually fall in love with each other. Although they continue to meet every Thursday in the small café, they know that their love is impossible.
Individual film dates/times
Thursday 22 September, 7pm – Silver Streak (1976) Certificate PG
Friday 23 September, 7pm – Murder on the Orient Express (1974) Certificate PG
Saturday 24 September, 7pm – The General (1926) Certificate U
Sunday 25 September, 7pm –Brief Encounter (1945)
Tickets are priced at £5 each. Due to the very small and intimate space, tickets are restricted to 15 per screening. Audience members can park at Pyramid arts centre and will be escorted to the train station. The room is at the far end of Platform 2.