6.8/10
1,669
30 user 27 critic

The Sound Barrier (1952)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, Romance | 21 December 1952 (USA)
Fictionalized story of British aerospace engineers solving the problem of supersonic flight.

Director:

David Lean

Writers:

Terence Rattigan (story), Terence Rattigan (screenplay)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ralph Richardson ... J.R.
Ann Todd ... Susan
Nigel Patrick ... Tony
John Justin ... Philip
Dinah Sheridan ... Jess
Joseph Tomelty ... Will
Denholm Elliott ... Chris
Jack Allen ... 'Windy'
Ralph Michael 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:

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


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The flying sequences under the direction of Anthony Squire, were based at the Vickers aerodrome at Chilbolton near Nether Wallop in Hampshire. Squire managed to secure one of the last airworthy Avro Lancaster bombers for the task. The cameramen were positioned in the front and rear turrets while Squire conducted proceedings from the central astrodome. The Lancaster was replaced by a Vickers Valetta after all, but Squire had fallen asleep due to an oxygen supply failure. Luckily as he recalled, "They all woke up on the way down, like people in a fairy wood, but I didn't bother with the Lancaster again." See more »

Goofs

When Susan 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 »

Quotes

Will Sparks: Well, the Chinaman, he says,"Me no like 'em pretty lady, me like 'em pretty drinkie."
[laughs]
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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 113 The Vickers-Supermarine SWIFT Rolls-Royce 'Avon' Engine See more »


Soundtracks

Daddy Wouldn't Buy Me a Bow-Wow
(uncredited)
Written by Joseph Tabrar
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User Reviews

 
Back Toward the Future
24 March 2004 | by skallisjrSee all my reviews

The opening of the film, when a World War II fighter pilot hit what used to be called "compressibility," was a suspenseful interlude for the audience, particularly since it wasn't explained at the time.

The film was shot in monochrome, and was produced during a time that technology was accelerating, and this was one of the early films outside some of the science-fiction films of the era that was pro-technology. It is interesting that most of the major characters were obsessed with pushing the envelope.

As has been mentioned elsewhere, the "solution" presented to maintaining control of a supersonic aircraft actually is inaccurate. When a reporter asked the person who first actually broke the sound barrier, Gen. Chuck Yaeger, about that "solution," he indicated that doing what was proposed would have ensured the death of the pilot.

The film is well worth watching, if for no other reason than to get a taste of people taking baby steps in the new world of postwar technology.


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 December 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Breaking Through the Sound Barrier See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP250,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)| Mono (Sound Recording of the breaking of the sound barrier made by John W. Davies - afterwards known in the industry as Jack Sound.)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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