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

Photos

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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:

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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rank made a concerted effort to ensure the film was successful in America, sending Kenneth More over to do a press tour, and setting up Rank's own distribution arm in North America, but the public was not enthusiastic. 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

Bader: [Spotting the Base Commander] I was just on my way to find you, Sir. We've been unable to get replacement spares and tools, so I've sent this signal of to Group. '242 Squadron fully operational as regards pilots, but non-operational, repeat, non-operational as regards equipment'
Bader's 242 Squadron Base Commander: [Taking the signal form from Bader and reading it] You know, you just can't do this!
Bader: Well, I've done it, Sir.
Bader's 242 Squadron Base Commander: There'll be an awful row at Group.
Bader: There'll be an awful row at Fighter Command. I sent them a copy too!
Bader's 242 Squadron Base Commander: Well, I...
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 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

 
Inspirational British World War II Air Force drama
1 May 2000 | by Andrew ReedSee all my reviews

What do you mean, you haven't seen this film? A classic World War 2 RAF adventure film depicting the true British spirit of one man's (Douglas Bader) fight to overcome the loss of both legs in a flying accident, to become a Wing Commander in the Battle of Britain. Lewis Gilbert keeps the film crackling along at a fast pace with Kenneth More, at the peak of his form, delivering the goods with a first rate supporting cast - don't miss it.


9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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