6.9/10
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12 user 1 critic

Decision Against Time (1957)

The Man in the Sky (original title)
The efforts of test pilot John Mitchell to make a better life for his wife Mary and their two children seem doomed to failure and he blames himself. At the Conway Aero-Manufacturing Company... See full summary »

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Writers:

(an original story by), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... John Mitchell
... Mary Mitchell
Jeremy Bodkin ... Nicholas Mitchell
Gerard Lohan ... Philip Mitchell
Walter Fitzgerald ... Conway
... Peter Hook
... Ashmore
... Joe Biggs
... Keith
... Crabtree
... Mary's Mother
... Mrs. Snowden
... Maine
Raymond Francis ... Jenkins
Russell Waters ... Sim
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Storyline

The efforts of test pilot John Mitchell to make a better life for his wife Mary and their two children seem doomed to failure and he blames himself. At the Conway Aero-Manufacturing Company of Wolverhampton, Mitchell is to take the company's new rocket-propulsion transport plane up for tests, fully loaded and carrying two important passengers - Ministry official Crabtree and buyer's representative Ashmore. Mitchell learns from his boss, Reg Conway, that if Ashmore does not recommend the plane, the company will be out of business and Mitchell out of a job, since the plane is not even insured as the firm's entire capital is tied up in the plane. Aloft, an engine catches fire and the passengers and other crew bail out, but Mitchell refuses to obey orders to jettison the plane in the Irish Sea. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Dare-devil test pilot takes you on a nerve-tingling adventure! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 July 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Decision Against Time  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$486,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The aircraft featured was a TYPE 170 Mark 11A G-AIFV designed and produced by the Bristol Aeroplane Company. Although the actual scenes were filmed at Wolverhampton, practice was carried out at Lydd Ferryfield in Kent (now London Ashford Airport). Filming was not without problems and on 15 May 1956 the aircraft overshot the runway, causing quite extensive damage to the nose and wing sections. Following repairs the aircraft returned to operations with Silver City Airways before being scrapped in May 1962. See more »

Goofs

Mitchell puts the plane into a dive to attempt to blow out the engine fire. Two shots show the aircraft flying downward in a dive, but the clouds in the background are also angled down, showing that this was simply filmed at an angle. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 1950's: Music, Memories & Milestones (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

 
British Test Pilot Hero
5 February 2012 | by See all my reviews

I agree with all the user comments above and enjoyed this film immensely.It's amazing I have never seen it before, it certainly is not an any DVD I have seen.It kept my attention for the full 80 minutes and I did not mind the filming in B&W as it gave the film a stark reality, missing in many 21st century films with their CGI/Special effects.

Britain had developed quite a lead internationally in aero engine design in the mid-late 1950s, and the air industry's export earnings were vital to the country's economy to help repay the massive overhang of WWII debts not finally repaid until 1996.The film mentioned a sobering statistic one out of three test pilots lost their lives flying new aircraft being produced at this time.This is another Jack Hawkins Ealing film classic is his portrayal of captain Ericcson in "The Cruel Sea" (1952).Look out for John Stratton who also appeared in the latter film and who this time plays the number two test pilot.


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