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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 ... 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:

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 »
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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

The film's composer John Addison was Douglas Bader's brother-in-law as Bader was married to his elder sister Thelma from 1933 until her death in 1971. See more »

Goofs

(at around 2h) The German soldiers capturing wing-commander Bader are shown wearing Waffen SS steel helmets with Wehrmacht uniforms. Their collar patches are Wehrmacht patches while the white shield painted on their steel helmets clearly show the black SS runes. See more »

Quotes

[Bader refuses to perfom some low flying for a trio of civilian pilots]
Civilian Pilot: Typical, these Air Force boys only perform when there's a crowd!
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 Call the Midwife: Episode #6.7 (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Goodnight Sweetheart
(uncredited)
Written by Ray Noble, Reginald Connelly and Jimmy Campbell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of the best.
24 March 2005 | by 24540647See all my reviews

Along with 633 Squadron and The Dambusters, this film is probably the best war film ever made.

It's not surprising that all these films are British made, without the Hollywood "hero" spin.

The film tells of the indominable spirit of Douglas Bader, and his rise back to health and active service after losing both legs in an air crash.

Semi-autobiographical, it runs pretty close to the true story of a man who inspired many, both during the Second World War and after.

If you've not seen it, don't be put off by the black & white, or the lack of CGI. Simply go and buy or hire it and sit back and enjoy.


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