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Little Gems - The Ghost Train by Arnold Ridley

This fantastic little black and white film was made in 1941. The original play "The Ghost Train" was actually written by Arnold Ridley who you may know better as Private Godfrey in Dad's Army. Hard to believe that old gentleman produced such great works of writing. Some scans of the original play are shown below:

The Ghost Train by Arnold Ridley The Ghost Train by Arnold Ridley

The Ghost Train, Produced at the St. Martin's Theatre, West Street, Cambridge Circus, Westminster, London, England on the 23rd November 1925 was a huge hit which then moved to the USA where it did not fair as well.

The Ghost Train by Arnold Ridley - set stage locations

The Ghost Train by Arnold Ridley - set stage locations for the above book

The Ghost Train play characters were:

Saul Hodgkin Caleb Porter
Richard Winthrop G. H. Mulcaster
Elsie (his wife) Edith Saville
Charles Murdock (junior partner in Murdock & Son) Basil Howes
Peggy Murdock (his newly married wife) Edna Davies
Miss Bourne Gladys Ffolliott
Teddy Deakin Fredk. T. Cooper
Julia Price Mary Clare
Herbert Price Neville Brook
John Sterling Vincent Holman
Jackson Walter Pemberton
Smith Wilfred Langley

The Ghost Train by Arnold Ridley  - different copy for the American market he Ghost Train by Arnold Ridley  - different copy for the American market

The Ghost Train by Arnold Ridley - different copy for the American market.........................Cast Listing Copyright 1931

he Ghost Train by Arnold Ridley  - different copy for the American market

Photograph of the above cast for the play

The Ghost Train play characters above were:

Saul Hodgkin Walter Wilson
Richard Winthrop Robert Rendel
Elsie Winthrop Gypsy O'Brien
Charles Murdock John Williams
Peggy Murdock Claudette Colbert
Miss Bourne Gladys Ffolliott (spelt incorrectly in the book)
Teddy Deakin Eric Blore
Julia Price Isobel Elsom
Herbert Price Arthur Barry
John Sterling Henry Mowbray
Jackson Arthur J. Wood

It is interesting to note that the character Miss Bourne was played by Gladys Ffolliott on both sides of the pond. She starred in "The Ghost Train" as Miss Bourne on August 25th 1926 until October 1926 with a total of sixty one performances at the Eltinge 42nd Street Theatre. Sadly she died in 1928 and I am unsure about later performances or indeed who took over the role of Miss Bourne but it is strange that the play book above is copyright 1931 with her name still amongst the cast.

The Ghost Train Film Details

Arthur Askey, Richard Murdoch and Kathleen Harrison were the main stars of the film version although Saul Hodgkin as the station master played a great role in setting the atmosphere for the group. The story concerns a group of mismatched train passengers who end up getting stranded at lonely country railway station called Fal Vale. The next train to Truro is not for another nine hours and to make matters worse, the weather is terrible. They soon learn a local tale of mystery and fear concerning a phantom train that is sometimes heard and seen rushing down the track. The train carries the dead passengers, victims of a train crash that happened many years previously. One of the best lines in the film was by the station master:-

“Whatever it is, it never starts out at Truro, and it never runs into St. Anne’s. If it be a natural thing – where do it come from... where do it go?"

The story was filmed in several locations around Devon and Cornwall. I actually went looking for the real Liskear Station in Cornwall (my Grandmother lived in that neck of the woods for a short time) but discovered I needed to get another train and that it would be a long wait before it arrived - decided not to wait. Truro is about 35 miles West and a little South from Liskeard - both being in Cornwall.

Hope you like the material, seemed such a shame that very little is on the Internet concerning the film and it played such a large role in my growing up (not that I have quite managed yet). Comments, thoughts etc. to the usual address at the top of the page.

Characters

Tommy Gander
Tommy Gander
Teddy Deakin
Teddy Deakin
Miss Bourne
Miss Bourne
R.G. Winthrop
R.G. Winthrop
Jackie Winthrop
Jackie Winthrop
Dr. Sterling
Dr. Sterling
Edna
Edna
Herbert
Herbert
Stationmaster Saul Hodgkin
Saul Hodgkin
Price - Nazi agent
Price
Julia Price - Nazi Agent
Julia Price
Ted Holmes
Ted Holmes
Ticket inspector
Ticket Inspector
Train Guard / Conductor
Train conductor
The Ghost Train driver
Ghost Train Driver
Original train crew
Train Crew (start)
Polly - Miss Bourne's parrot
Polly the parrot
Ben Isaacs
Original Ben Isaacs

The Ghost Train The Ghost Train - main page The Ghost Train - story page
Main Page The Story

Credits

Cast:
Tommy Gander Arthur Askey
Teddy Deakin Richard (Stinker) Murdoch
Miss Bourne Kathleen Harrison
R.G. Winthrop Peter Murray-Hill
Jackie Winthrop Carole Lynne
Dr. Stirling Morland Graham
Edna Betty Jardine
Herbert Stuart Latham
Saul Hodgkin Herbert Lomas
Price Raymond Huntley
Julia Price Linden Travers
Ben Isaacs D.J. Williams
Train Employees Wilfrid Lawson
George Merritt

The Film Makers:
Based on the famous play by Arnold Ridley
Supervising Editor / Film Editor R.E. Dearing
Art Direction Alex Vetchinsky
Dialogue Val Guest / Marriott Edgar
Musical Number - The Seaside Band Kenneth Blain
Recording M. Hobbs
Sound Supervision B.C. Sewell
Photography Jack E. Cox
Musical Director Louis Levy
Produced by Edward Black
Directed by Walter Forde
Made at Gaumont-British Studios London
In charge of Production Maurice Ostrer
A Gainsborough Picture Distributed by
General Film Distributors Limited.

End Credits