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July 2, 2021

The Train Crash Scene in ‘The Wrecker’ (1929): The Most Spectacular Railway Crash in Cinema History

The Wrecker is a 1929 British-German silent film that tells the story of a crook who organizes train crashes to discredit the railway, in favor of a rival bus company. A highlight of the film is a train crash scene filmed at Herriard on the Basingstoke and Alton Light Railway. South Eastern and Chatham Railway F1 Class locomotive No. A148 and a set of coaches were released on an incline to collide into a Foden steam lorry. The impact, which destroyed the locomotive and the lorry, was recorded by 22 cameras. The stunts in this film were groundbreaking for 1920s British cinema A scene which has been described as “the most spectacular railway crash in cinema history.”

Other than the crash, the film is otherwise undistinguished. The Wrecker was co-produced by Michael Balcon and Arnold Pressburger and directed by a Hungarian, Géza von Bolváry who made the majority of his films in Germany and Austria, even under Nazism. The Wrecker would also form the basis of an American B picture, The Phantom Express (1932).

1 comment:

  1. "The Most Spectacular Railway Crash in Cinema History"??? It isn't even close. Why would you even claim such an obviously false statement? Heck, even the train crash in The Lone Ranger is better than this one.
    Maybe you meant to say "best at the time". But in 1929 that really wouldn't be saying much.




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