7.2/10
2,405
35 user 4 critic

Reach for the Sky (1956)

Approved | | 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
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

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 ... 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
Edit

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:

10,000,000 Americans Have Thrilled to This Stirring Story in Reader's Digest! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the same year this film was released Douglas Bader caused great controversy with his racist remarks on the public statements of African Commonwealth nations in regard to the Suez Crisis. In response to some of the more recent Commonwealth countries criticizing white colonial rule and the Anglo-French invasion of Egypt, Bader said they could "bloody well climb back up their trees". See more »

Goofs

During the meeting in Dowding's office there is a RAF plaque on his desk with a Queen's crown on it, which was correct for when the film was made, but when as the film is set in 1940 it should have been a King's crown. See more »

Quotes

Turner: Legs or no legs, I've never seen such a mobile fireball.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally released in Great Britain at 135 minutes; cut by 12 minutes before the American premiere. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 100 Greatest War Films (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Is the Sweetest Thing
(uncredited)
Written by Ray Noble
See more »

User Reviews

 
Stirring stuff.
16 October 2006 | by g-hbeSee all my reviews

'The channels are blocked? Then we'll ruddy well UNblock 'em!' This is the point in the film where I feel like cheering, as it perfectly sums up Bader's 'can do, will do' approach. It's the true story of Douglas Bader, a young flying enthusiast who went on to be a fearless WW2 Spitfire pilot, losing both legs in the process. His struggle to walk again, his courting of a pretty girl and his later formation of 'the big wing' in the fight against the Nazi invasion are laid out here with gusto, verve and a little humour. Kenneth More is excellent as Bader, using his natural, relaxed acting technique to give the part a free-wheeling energy. The very pretty Muriel Pavlow plays his wife who grows increasingly concerned at his derring-do, and there is a solid cast of British regulars of the time. The music is stirring, the direction brisk and the story itself is straight out of a Boys' Own comic. What more could you ask for? A perfect Sunday afternoon film.


11 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 35 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

27 July 1956 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Reach for the Sky See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

GBP380,000 (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 »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed