5.6/10
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10 user 3 critic

Out of the Clouds (1955)

A busy day at London Airport. Follow the lives and loves of the crew and passengers.

Director:

Basil Dearden

Writers:

John Fores (adapted from "The Springboard"), John Eldridge (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Steel ... Gus Randall
Robert Beatty ... Nick Millbourne
David Knight ... Bill
Margo Lorenz Margo Lorenz ... Leah
James Robertson Justice ... Captain Brent
Eunice Gayson ... Penny Henson
Isabel Dean ... Mrs Malcolm
Gordon Harker ... The Taxi Driver
Bernard Lee ... Customs Officer
Michael Howard Michael Howard ... Purvis
Marie Lohr ... Rich Woman
Esma Cannon ... Her Companion
Abraham Sofaer ... The Indian
Melissa Stribling ... Jean Osmond
Sidney James ... The Gambler
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Storyline

A busy day at London Airport. Follow the lives and loves of the crew and passengers.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 May 1955 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

O Amor Chegou de Avião See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Gaumont-Kalee) (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Eastman Colour)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Nick Millbourne: What's the trouble, Captain?
Captain Brent: I'm not happy about the port outer - she sounds a bit rough to me.
Nick Millbourne: Instruments check alright?
Captain Brent: Yes.
Nick Millbourne: The instrument say she's okay, the chief mechanic says she's okay...?
Captain Brent: Young man, let me tell you something. In the air, I am responsible for this aircraft and the lives of all on board her, and neither you nor anybody else - including the chairman of the corporation - is going to induce me to take her one inch off the ground until I am absolutely satisfied that she is ...
[...]
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Soundtracks

Flame
(uncredited)
Music by Richard Addinsell
Lyrics by Jack Fishman
See more »

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User Reviews

Heathrow cleared for take-off
27 January 2005 | by OctSee all my reviews

After Ealing's 'Dead of Night', ensemble films-- sets of short stories linked by theme- caught on in Britain. And after 'Train of Events' (1949), Relph and Dearden had another bash with this pre-'Airport' (and pre-'Airplane!') compendium of tears, love and laughter set at London's Heathrow Airport. Michael Balcon eased the purse strings to permit shooting in Eastmancolour-- all those blue skies and silver speed birds-- but the cast, apart from Lorenz and the British-based American David Knight, is British Commonwealth (Robert Beattie, a Canadian, worked mainly over here) and the low-key tone is Anglo too.

'Out of the Clouds' can be seen as a continuation of the post-war 'victory against the odds' genre: uniforms, stiff upper lips, quasi-military routines with room for the odd romance or shared confidence between male pilots (officers) and subservient female stewardesses. During a sticky landing, the airport firemen standing by are shot from heroic low angles as if by Humphrey Jennings. Anthony Steel as a philandering, smuggling cockpit jockey is like the statutory bad apple in a POW camp.

But wartime memories feed into the film's inspiration in a less obvious manner. It reflects a brief surge of optimism about Britain leading the world in civil aviation.

Heathrow, though it looks like a desert here, has been operating for almost ten years. It is on its way to becoming the busiest crossroads of air travel, as well as the greatest noise pollution disaster in Europe. The central area already has its control tower and first purpose-built terminal-- a far cry from the tent city which hastily arose in 1945 after a cabal of civil servants and airline managers fooled Churchill into green lighting the forced appropriation of Middlesex's best farmland, on the pretext that the RAF needed a bigger field near London than Northolt. In the movie all the airliners are prop-driven; but De Havilland has just produced the first jet, the Comet, and its fatal metal-fatigue flaws are not yet understood.

Here on view is the half-forgotten period when passengers embarked so near the lounge that friends could wave them on board; when stewardesses, not Tannoys, addressed travellers courteously and by name; when security precautions were cursory; when BOAC and Pan Am embodied national pride; and, more fancifully, when a cabbie would give a foreign couple a tour of 'the real London' ending in his own home.

Interestingly the main plot concerns an Auschwitz survivor: very rare in film fiction 50 years ago. This Austrian orphan is diverted from marrying an elderly ex-GI in Wisconsin by meeting a young hydrologist who wants to make the desert bloom in the new Israel. Balcon seldom let his Jewishness show so clearly.

Britflick fans will enjoy plane-spotting faces such as James Robertson Justice, on the verge of Hollywood stardom in 'Land of the Pharoahs'; ever-fluttery, downtrodden Esma Cannon; Sid James, gambling on his wife's life with travel insurance; Terence Alexander, the future Charlie Hungerford of 'Bergerac', as a flight controller; Abraham Sofaer, celestial judge in 'A Matter of Life and Death', as a talkative Indian; and Bernard Lee, aka 'M', as a customs man with a nose for Steel's suitcase shenanigans.

Steel, as usual, projects suave unreliability, like a more reined-in Laurence Harvey. Twenty years later he would be outraging Corinne Cléry in 'Histoire d'O'.


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