6.9/10
1,400
24 user 19 critic

The Sound Barrier (1952)

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 Joseph Tomelty ... Will
Denholm Elliott ... Chris
Jack Allen 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 »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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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:

£250,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The featured aircraft was a Supermarine Swift. See more »

Goofs

Garthwaite, having just alighted from a Comet airliner with his wife, is seen reading that evening's newspaper dated Saturday, 28th September 1946. The Comet didn't make its maiden flight until July1949 and didn't enter service until 1952. See more »

Quotes

Tony Garthwaite: You really have looked at this from every angle?
Susan: I haven't left an angle out and I promise you.
Tony Garthwaite: I mean, you know the sort of chap I am.
Susan: I know the sort of chap you are.
Tony Garthwaite: Not on your level at all.
Susan: Miles above.
Tony Garthwaite: Oh, gosh!
Susan: Please, Tony, stop saying, "Oh, gosh." Can't you think of anything else to say?
Tony Garthwaite: I love you so very much.
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 113 The Vickers-Supermarine SWIFT Rolls-Royce 'Avon' Engine See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Bit Part (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
A haunting memory
6 January 2005 | by george7096See all my reviews

I saw "The Sound Barrier" in 1952 and it had a great impact on this young moviegoer. The opening sequence on an abandoned air base and the theme music have stayed with me for 50 years. Apparently this film is not available in the USA at present, but I hope it will return to our shores. The technical side of the movie may be less relevant now, when men and women fly far beyond the speed of sound and far beyond the earth's atmosphere. But the story of the characters is what I remember best: the closeness of the small band of test pilots and their loved ones, how they are inspired by the promise of supersonic flight, and how they react when things go wrong.


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