6.7/10
1,149
10 user 5 critic

Night Mail (1936)

Approved | | Short, Documentary | 13 January 1936 (UK)
Shows the special train on which mail is sorted, dropped and collected on the run, and delivered in Scotland overnight.

Directors:

Harry Watt, Basil Wright

Writers:

W.H. Auden, Kenneth Westman (as Baron Westman Kenneth Westman)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Arthur Clark Arthur Clark ... Engineer
John Grierson ... Commentary
Stuart Legg Stuart Legg ... Commentary
Robert Rae Robert Rae ... Senior Driver - LMS Railway
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Storyline

Shows the special train on which mail is sorted, dropped and collected on the run, and delivered in Scotland overnight.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Documentary

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 January 1936 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Courrier de nuit See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Visatone Marconi)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The sound recordists equipment was unable to record a realistic sound of the mail train clattering over the joints in the track during the "two bridges and 45 beats" trackside mailbag collection sequence. Eventually they resorted to recording the sound of a model train being pushed back and forth over joints in a model railway track in time to the film of the man on the train counting the beats. See more »

Quotes

Commentary: [Reciting W.H. Auden poem] Thousands are still asleep, Dreaming of terrifying monsters, Or of friendly tea beside the band in Cranston's or Crawford's: Asleep in working Glasgow, asleep in well-set Edinburgh, Asleep in granite Aberdeen, They continue their dreams - - But shall wake soon and hope for letters, And none will hear the postman's knock, Without a quickening of the heart, For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 50 Greatest Documentaries (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Night Mail 1936 Style
24 June 2003 | by CocaCola18See all my reviews

If you've ever studied film or Media in England you would have certainly come across the GPO Film Unit during your studies. A unit formed by John Grierson after being influenced by Robert Flaherty of 'Nanook of the North' fame!

This documentary shows how the people of 1930's United Kingdom got there mail from a to b!

Directed Basil Wright with commentary by John Grierson & Stuart Legg and superb and now famous poem finale by the now great W.H. Auden this is a good documentary.

8/10


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