Terminus (1961)

Directed by John Schlesinger
Written by John Schlesinger
British Transport Films
First viewing/YouTube


Millions of people swarming like flies ’round Waterloo underground/ But Terry and Julie cross over the river where they feel safe and sound / And they don’t need no friends/ As long as they gaze on Waterloo Sunset they are in paradise – “Waterloo Sunset”, lyrics by Ray Davies

I really enjoyed this documentary account of 24 hours in London’s busy Waterloo Station.

There is no plot but various vignettes including train side meetings and departures, different kinds of business travelers, the arrival of a large Jamaican contingent and the saga of a lost child.

The film has no narration and is supported mostly by its jaunty score.  There is some incidental recording of station announcements, bits of conversatiion, etc.  Schlesinger obviously had enormous affection for Londoners and eccentrics and this shines through. Recommended.


Bonus – early live Kinks performance of “Waterloo Sunset”.

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