Robbie (public information film)

Robbie (Public Information Film)

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Robbie (public information film)

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Robbie is a 13-minute long film made by British Transport Films in 1979 and revised in 1986. Although it is not strictly a Public Information Film, it is often considered to be so by fans of the genre. The film, which was shown in schools all over Great Britain, is based around a young boy suffering a disfiguring and/or fatal accident when he trespasses on a railway line, with three different versions being made to demonstrate the dangers of both electrified and non - electrified lines. When it was first released, all three versions were narrated and introduced by Peter Purves, later replaced by Keith Chegwin when the films were revised. Robbie was written and directed by Ronald Dunkley and produced by James Ritchie. It was a replacement for the controversial and extremely graphic The Finishing Line, and was itself later replaced by a more modern film called Killing Time.


All three variants of the film show Robbie, a young boy of about 10 years old with a keen interest in both trains and football, being persuaded by his elder brother to climb through a hole in the fence surrounding a nearby railway line and go onto the track. The three different editions continue as follows:

  • Version 1 (non - electrified railway lines): As he is walking along the railway line, Robbie gets the laces of his football boots caught in the track, and desperately tries to pull his feet free. We then hear and see a train approaching. The shoelace then pops and Robbie stumbles back in time,......
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