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Breaking the Sound Barrier (1952)
"The Sound Barrier" (original title)

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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 898 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 11 critic

Fictionalized story of British aerospace engineers solving the problem of supersonic flight.

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Title: Breaking the Sound Barrier (1952)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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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
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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:

Jet Packed Showmanship See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

With this film, Ralph Richardson became the first actor to win the New York Film Critics Award for Best Actor who didn't also go on to win an Oscar nomination. 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
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User Reviews

An evocative look at British inventive genius
1 March 1999 | by (london, UK) – See all my reviews

This black and white early 50s movie shows crusty Britain at its stiff upper lip best. It is the story of mans obsession with speed, and a ruthless plane makers ambition to succeed in building a supersonic jet. Richardson plays the tycoon whose dream kills his son and son-in-law, but who finally sees the error of his ways and whose daughter returns to the cold family home with his grandson.

The film is also a vehicle to show the world Britain's proud lead in jet technology. There is a classic sequence in the film where the happy daughter and son-in-law deliver a De Havilland Vampire jet fighter to Egypt. They set off at breakfast time in England and hurtle over the English Channel, the Alps, Ancient Greece and the Pyramids before arriving in at the airfield. Of course we take this for granted now, but 47 years ago this was unheard of. The director contrasts the old ruins and remains of our ancient ancestors with the marvel of the modern age: the jet plane.

The film also introduced THE marvel of the early fifties, the De Havilland Comet jet liner. This beautiful but flawed machine was in service SIX years before any other jet liner and for a while, the world rushed to De Havillands, and Britains door. For two years the worldwide fleet gave the travelling of the future.

In every other way this is an eccentrically English film with creaky old houses, cottages with roses around the door and eccentric engineers. Shout in glorious black and white it conveys a sense of wonder and optimism in the future, whilst being thoroughly old fashioned


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