6.9/10
992
15 user 12 critic

Breaking the Sound Barrier (1952)

The Sound Barrier (original title)
Fictionalized story of British aerospace engineers solving the problem of supersonic flight.

Director:

Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Madeleine (1950)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The middle-class family of a young woman cannot understand why she delays in marrying a respectable young man. They know nothing about her long-standing affair with a Frenchman.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Ann Todd, Norman Wooland, Ivan Desny
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The Passionate Friends were in love when young, but separated, and she married an older man. Then Mary Justin meets Steven Stratton again and they have one last fling together in the Alps.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Ann Todd, Trevor Howard, Claude Rains
Blithe Spirit (1945)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Adapted from a play by Noel Coward, Charles and his second wife Ruth, are haunted by the ghost of his first wife, Elvira. Medium Madame Arcati tries to help things out by contacting the ghost.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Rex Harrison, Constance Cummings, Kay Hammond
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Noel Coward's attempt to show how the ordinary people lived between the wars. Just after WWI the Gibbons family moves to a nice house in the suburbs. An ordinary sort of life is led by the ... See full summary »

Director: David Lean
Stars: Robert Newton, Celia Johnson, Amy Veness
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Henry Hobson is a successful bootmaker and tyrannical widower of three daughters. The girls each want to leave their father by getting married, but Henry refuses as marriage traditions require him to pay out settlements.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Charles Laughton, John Mills, Brenda de Banzie
Summertime (1955)
Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A lonely American woman unexpectedly finds romance in Venice, Italy.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Rossano Brazzi, Isa Miranda
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

This "story of a ship," the British destroyer HMS Torrin, is told in flash backs by survivors as they cling to a life raft.

Directors: Noël Coward, David Lean
Stars: Noël Coward, John Mills, Derek Elphinstone
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Set in the wake of the 1916 Easter Rising, a married woman in a small Irish village has an affair with a troubled British officer.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Trevor Howard, John Mills
Major Barbara (1941)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young and idealistic woman, who has adopted the Salvation Army and whose father is an armament industrialist, will save more souls directing her father's business. A comedy with social commentary.

Directors: Gabriel Pascal, Harold French, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Wendy Hiller, Rex Harrison, Robert Morley
Oliver Twist (1948)
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Based on the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist is about an orphan boy who runs away from a workhouse and meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. Oliver is taken in by the pickpocket ... See full summary »

Director: David Lean
Stars: Robert Newton, Alec Guinness, Kay Walsh
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A humble orphan suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor.

Director: David Lean
Stars: John Mills, Valerie Hobson, Tony Wager
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Cultural mistrust and false accusations doom a friendship in British colonial India between an Indian doctor, an Englishwoman engaged to marry a city magistrate, and an English educator.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Judy Davis, Victor Banerjee, Peggy Ashcroft
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
...
John Ridgefield
Ann Todd ...
Susan Garthwaite
Nigel Patrick ...
Tony Garthwaite
John Justin ...
Philip Peel
...
Jess Peel
Joseph Tomelty ...
Will Sparks
...
Christopher Ridgefield
Jack Allen ...
Windy Williams
Ralph Michael ...
Fletcher
Edit

Storyline

Tony successful fighter pilot during World War II marries into the family of a wealthy oil magnate who also designs airplanes. The movie traces the company's attempt to break the sound barrier, as well as tensions between father and daughter. Lots of footage of early 50s jet aviation in Great Britain as well as shots of the Comet airliner, world's first jet passenger plane. Written by Henry Brugsch <henry@g0gku.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They lived and loved, like the jets they flew - fast and dangerous! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 December 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Breaking Through the Sound Barrier  »

Box Office

Budget:

£250,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the movie, Nigel Patrick and Ann Todd were sitting in a more dangerous plane than they knew. The de Havilland Comet airliner depicted in the film would become a notorious design for two tragic mid-air breakups in 1954 which killed all on board. The aircraft would be redesigned but the legacy would prevent it from being a success. See more »

Goofs

When Sue tells her husband she is pregnant, she tells him the baby is due around Christmas. But when the child is born, the weather is warm and sunny, suggesting the child is anything but a December baby. See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, immediately after the human actors, are listed four British aircraft: The de Havilland Comet, the Vickers-Supermarine Attacker, the de Havilland Vampire, and the Vickers-Supermarine Swift. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Bit Part (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

With Sword and Lance
(uncredited)
Music by Hermann Starke
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Excellent film, technically ludicrous
7 November 2003 | by (Twentynine Palms, CA) – See all my reviews

This is an outstanding film about the human cost of progress and obsession. Richardson is great as the aviation mogul willing to pay the necessary price for reaching new realms and new worlds. Historically and technically, the film is so out in left field as to be almost laughable (the plot point about control reversal is apparently the result of a writer hearing a valid aeronautical term and misunderstanding it completely) but in the end, the issues raised and the fine performances make Sound Barrier a winner. The aerial photography is outstanding, and there is one beautifully composed shot from below the nose of the Comet airliner that perfectly emphasizes the sleek lines of that most beautiful jet.


19 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
An American version of the sound barrier colt8
An American version of the sound barrier colt8
Bad journey planning! Ambak
Discuss Breaking the Sound Barrier (1952) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?