The true story of airman Douglas Bader who overcame the loss of both legs in a 1931 flying accident to become a successful fighter pilot and wing leader during World War II. Written by
E.A. Milne <email@example.com>
This film's opening prologue states: "Douglas Bader has become a legend in his own life time. His courage was not only an example to those in War but is now a source of inspiration to many in Peace. For dramatic purposes it has been necessary in this film to transpose in time certain events in Douglas Bader's life and also to re-shape some of the characters involved in this story. The Producers apologise to those who may have been affected by any changes or omissions." See more »
When Douglas Bader is promoted and sent to command 242 Squadron at Coltishall, the Hurricanes bear the squadron code letters "SD". These were the actual code letters of 501 Squadron which flew Hurricanes in the Battle of Britain. The 242 Squadron codes were in fact "LE". See more »
[Bader is at a sanatorium in recovery and listening to a fellow patient complain about pains to one of his legs]
. Have it off, old boy, have it off.
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The credits advise that some events and depictions of people/events have been altered for story telling purposes , so this film is not a strictly accurate history of Douglas Bader. Also played down somewhat is Baders arrogance and foolhardiness which lead to his disability in the first place. Still as a inspiration for disabled people and as an almost factual account of Baders life and as film entertainment , it's pretty good. Made reasonably close to the war years it is able to capture the feeling of those years quite well. It is a trifle 'stiff upper lip - what ?' but Kenneth More as usual turns in a good performance. Focusing mainly on Baders attempts, and resulting achievements in war time flying, after a crash means both lower legs have to be amputated. Quite gritty and not too sentimental this offering from director Lewis Gilbert stacks up well against similar films of the time.
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