Eames Catalog


Toccata for Toy Trains [Video]



A film about real toy trains—mostly old. A journey from roundhouse and yards, to station, through countryside and village to destination. The characters, the architecture, the objects with which the scenes were built, were all somewhere, at sometime, manufactured and sold.

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.

"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.

Look at the Eames furniture designs and look at them again,  from that perspective.

You can buy the dvd with TOCCATA FOR TOY TRAINS and more Eames films:  Blacktop, House: After 5 Years of Living, Lucia Chase Vignetee, Kaleidoscope Jazz Chairs, the Black Ships, and Atlas here.

You can buy the boxed set of Volumes 1 - 6 of the Eames films here.

In ADDITIONAL NOTES AND IMAGES below you can see the entire film,  courtesy of The Eames Office.

Image: 1/1
image copyright / eames office


“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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