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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The nursing cap and badge worn by Anne Leon was loaned by the real life Matron Thornhill from Brompton Hospital. As portrayed in the film, the then Sister Thornhill nursed Bader in the critical weeks following his accident. Miss Thornhill visited the set during the filming of the hospital scenes, casting a critical eye over the hospital procedures. 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 channels are blocked? Then we'll ruddy well UNblock 'em!' This is the point in the film where I feel like cheering, as it perfectly sums up Bader's 'can do, will do' approach. It's the true story of Douglas Bader, a young flying enthusiast who went on to be a fearless WW2 Spitfire pilot, losing both legs in the process. His struggle to walk again, his courting of a pretty girl and his later formation of 'the big wing' in the fight against the Nazi invasion are laid out here with gusto, verve and a little humour. Kenneth More is excellent as Bader, using his natural, relaxed acting technique to give the part a free-wheeling energy. The very pretty Muriel Pavlow plays his wife who grows increasingly concerned at his derring-do, and there is a solid cast of British regulars of the time. The music is stirring, the direction brisk and the story itself is straight out of a Boys' Own comic. What more could you ask for? A perfect Sunday afternoon film.
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