The Railway Children receives first complaint – 42 years after its release

The family classic starring Bernard Cribbins and Jenny Agutter has been accused of encouraging children to play on railway tracks

Family classic The Railway Children has received its first complaint 42 years after it was released.

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The film’s U-rating may suggest its suitablity for all ages, but one scrupulous viewer has lodged their comments with the British Board of Film Classification. 

“The correspondent was concerned that children may be encouraged to play on railway tracks as a result of seeing the film,” noted the BBFC’s annual report. 

However, the report doesn’t appear to have taken the complaint too seriously, ruling that it was “very unlikely that The Railway Children would promote such dangerous activity”.

The BBFC goes on to state that the film – which stars Bernard Cribbins, Dinah Sheridan and Jenny Agutter “is set in the Edwardian period and trains and access to railway property are very different today. The film also demonstrates the potential harm to children if proper care is not taken.”

While The Railway Children generated just one complaint, Daniel Radcliffe’s 2012 ghost thriller The Woman in Black, rated 12A,  attracted the majority of public feedback with 134 cinema-goers complaining that “the film was too disturbing for young audiences.”

Men in Black 3 which was classified PG received a total of 50 complaints for its “language, violence, horror and sexual innuendo,” singlling out the villain, Boris the Animal, as too frightening and the scene showing Boris and his girlfriend French kissing for being too overtly sexual. 

The first instalment in The Hunger Games franchise was another cause of complaint, receiving 43 comments about its “violence and theme” which viewers felt was not in line with is 12A certificate. The BBFC responded by claiming the violence in The Hunger Games is “generally restrained and undetailed.

“It is a moral film, critiquing violence rather than glorifying it. The lead characters do not relish killing and survive and defeat the unfair and evil adult ‘system’ through bravery, teamwork and resourcefulness.”

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Other films listed as generating complaints are We Bought a Zoo, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Rock of Ages, Chronicle and The Dark Knight Rises