7.3/10
2,078
31 user 4 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

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

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

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Action | War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

During World War II, German ships are "safely" docked upriver at Bordeaux, but the British send a team of kayakers to attack them.

Director: José Ferrer
Stars: José Ferrer, Trevor Howard, Dora Bryan
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The story of how the British attacked German dams in WWII by using an ingenious technique to drop bombs where they would be most effective.

Director: Michael Anderson
Stars: Richard Todd, Michael Redgrave, Ursula Jeans
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Allied prisoners of various nationalities pool their resources to plan numerous escapes from an "escape-proof" German P.O.W. camp housed in a Medieval castle.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: John Mills, Eric Portman, Christopher Rhodes
633 Squadron (1964)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An RAF squadron is assigned to knock out a German rocket fuel factory in Norway. The factory supplies fuel for the Nazi effort to launch rockets on England during D-Day.

Director: Walter Grauman
Stars: Cliff Robertson, George Chakiris, Maria Perschy
The Cruel Sea (1953)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The World War II adventures of a British convoy escort ship and its officers.

Director: Charles Frend
Stars: Jack Hawkins, Donald Sinden, John Stratton
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

During World War II, a British actor impersonates Field Marshal Montgomery in order to confuse German intelligence.

Director: John Guillermin
Stars: M.E. Clifton James, John Mills, Cecil Parker
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

True story of three British POWs and their attempt to escape from Nazi Germany.

Directors: Jack Lee, Ian Dalrymple
Stars: Leo Genn, David Tomlinson, Anthony Steel
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The World War II story of the British Navy's effort to defeat Nazi Germany's most powerful warship.

Director: Lewis Gilbert
Stars: Kenneth More, Dana Wynter, Carl Möhner
Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

During World War II in North Africa, a medical field unit must cross the desert in their ambulance in order to reach the British lines in Alexandria.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: John Mills, Anthony Quayle, Sylvia Syms
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The attack by British submarines on the German battleship "Tirpitz" in a Norwegian fjord during World War II.

Director: Ralph Thomas
Stars: John Mills, John Gregson, Donald Sinden
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In the first major naval battle of World War II, the British Navy must find and destroy a powerful German warship.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: John Gregson, Anthony Quayle, Peter Finch
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

All leave is cancelled so that a British submarine can be sent after a new German warship. They chase it so far that they have no fuel to get home.

Director: Anthony Asquith
Stars: John Mills, Louis Bradfield, Ronald Millar
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:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

27 July 1956 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Vainqueur du ciel See more »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Biggest grossing British film of 1956 and the most successful film in the UK since Gone with the Wind (1939). See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene, raw recruits at Cranwell carry out a short but very complicated drill maneuver in civilian dress. In reality they would have known nothing on that first day. In fact the "raw recruits" all seem to be ex-Public School boys where they would have been drilled as cadets in school as part of the curriculum, as was common practice until relatively recently. 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 »

Alternate Versions

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

Connections

Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Compelling and Inspiring film...
12 June 2003 | by horsegal25See all my reviews

I would heartily recommend Reach for the Sky to anyone in need of inspiring, or anything of that sort- there is an old saying that goes; "What one man has done, another can do!" I think that very much applies to RFTS!

The acting in this was superb, Kenneth More, and the gorgeous Muriel Pavlow looking surprisingly similar to the real Douglas & Thelma Bader- and Lyndon Brook giving an excellent performance as Johnny Sanderson.

Reach for the Sky is an awesome film, and full of action, and anticipation- to tell the truth, I was shaking with anticipation the first time I saw it- I think- or maybe it was the 2nd or 3rd time- can't remember, but Lyndon Brook, my favourite actor was causing me a bit of heart throb to!!

Do see it!


9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 31 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed