7.3/10
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28 user 2 critic

Reach for the Sky (1956)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, War | 27 July 1956 (Ireland)
Biopic of RAF Group Captain Douglas Bader who, after having lost both legs, flew a British fighter plane during WW2.

Director:

Lewis Gilbert

Writers:

Paul Brickhill (book), Lewis Gilbert (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

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From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kenneth More ... Douglas Bader
Muriel Pavlow ... Thelma Bader
Lyndon Brook ... Johnny Sanderson
Lee Patterson ... Turner
Alexander Knox ... Mr. Joyce
Dorothy Alison ... Nurse Brace
Michael Warre Michael Warre ... Harry Day
Sydney Tafler Sydney Tafler ... Robert Desoutter
Howard Marion-Crawford ... 'Woody' Woodhall (as Howard Marion Crawford)
Jack Watling Jack Watling ... Peel
Nigel Green ... Streatfield
Anne Leon Anne Leon ... Sister Thornhill
Charles Carson ... Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding
Ronald Adam ... Air Vice-Marshal Leigh-Mallory
Walter Hudd ... Air Vice-Marshal Halahan
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Storyline

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 <eamilne@bitmailer.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Valor That Soars Beyond the Limits of Man's Endurance...Drama That Probes Beneath the Surface of Wartime Emotions See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

27 July 1956 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Vainqueur du ciel See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£380,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM Print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Angel later said he favourite part of the film as when Bader is trying to learn how to walk again in hospital. "I've been in hospital myself, on and off since the war, and I'd seen a lot of that sort of thing," he later said. "It was a very touching performance from Dorothy Alison, who seemed to sum up so much in a few moments." See more »

Goofs

When Bader is having a first try at golf he hits the ball after a couple of misses. He says that he hit it only a couple of yards, but the ball can be seen flying off into the distance after a perfect strike. See more »

Quotes

Harry Day: You know my views about some regulations - they're written for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men.
Bader: Yes sir - so you've said - frequently.
Harry Day: Douglas, a really good pilot doesn't have to prove it all the time, you know.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Countdown: Episode #72.30 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

All By Yourself in the Moonlight
(uncredited)
Written by Jay Wallis (pseudonym of Ralph T. Butler)
See more »

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User Reviews

A very Watchable Film
18 May 2002 | by Gordy WrightSee all my reviews

This may rate as one of the classic war films.

A (fairly) true to life film, about Douglas Bader, who it is reported was a fairly arrogant person, though highly driven.

Kenneth More in the lead role, delivers his usual top notch performance, and they rest of the cast just seem to fit together the way they should.

The film covers Baders life, and the loss of his legs in a flying accident that was in truth of his own making, and then how he puts his life back together afterwards.

It shows an amazing spirit and determination, to the extent that he got back into the RAF and became a successful pilot and air tactition.

This film should be watched by other people who have had the misfortune of an amputation, and i don't mean that in a condescending manner, Bader showed what you can do if you put your mind to it, he wouldn't let his disability beat him.

A really good movie, easily watched more than once, and good for more than one reason.


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