Toccata for Toy Trains

“In a good old toy there is apt to be nothing self-conscious about the use of materials—what is wood is wood; what is tin is tin; and what is cast is beautifully cast.”—from Toccata for Toy Trains.

Short film about toy trains and other old toys related to the railroad theme, all shot from a toys perspective. It depicts a journey from the moment toy train leaves the station to its arrival destination, showing all the hustle and bustle that takes place along the journey in a very detailed way bringing objects to life. Piece is accompanied with a classical music composition by Elmer Bernstein, well known composer of  music for hundreds of film and television productions.

Music score by Elmer Bernstein

Color, 14 minutes

Winner of Edinburgh International Film Festival Award, 1957.
Seventh Melbourne Film Festival Award, 1958.
American Film Festival Award, 1959.
Scholastic Teachers’ 11th Annual Film Award, 1960.

“Written, produced and directed by Charles and Ray Eames with a score by Elmer Bernstein…It is a sparkling phantasmagoria of toy locomotives, dolls, depots and gas buggies, some of metal, some of wood (one with a cork smokestack) picked by the Eames brothers (sic) from the toy collections of a number of New York museums, whirling in mad profusion to a brassy and gay musical fantasia.  There are some interesting photographic effects, among others the illusion of the cmaera rushing through the interior of one of these little trains.”  Movie Review by Paul V. Beckley, NY Herald Tribune, September 8, 1959.


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