- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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short on facts, but excellent film about flying
As a former military pilot who "broke" the sound barrier, it was a rather disappointing event. Thanks to those who went before me, I could thank all who made it a casual event. That said, most films about flying nearly always leave me disappointed. This film, as a film shows flying and testing without the usual fake bravo. In my opinion it shows the true character of those who have the drive to push tech and those pilots who are ordinary men, with extraordinary skills.
Great Lean Yarn, and I do mean yarn!
It's always a pleasure to watch a David Lean movie, just to see a great director at work. And always a pleasure to see British actors, who are all great actors. But what I can't get over here is the trios of lies that undergird the story. They were not the first to break the sound barrier. The film never actually claimed them to be the first, just their own first efforts to do break it. Maybe that lawyerism lets them off the hook. In any case, their embrace of the swept wing is yet another myth. Thanks to a dim civil servant, the swept-wing design was suppressed, thus taking UK out of the supersonic race. Then there's the totally bogus way they finally did it. When I saw it as a kid I thought, Wow, brilliant! Then later I realized that counter-intuitive often means wrong. But then, if you suspend concern for facts, like here, then you get a rousing adventure.
- kevin sellers
Sorry, Red Rain, but this nefarious film does more than just "intimate" that the Brits were the first to break the sound barrier. It's as if Hollywood had made a movie about the first person to reach the top of Mt. Everest and claimed it was a yoga instructor from Kansas named Kristi! Amazed that American audiences (to mention nothing of Chuck Yeager) took this bit of English legerdemain lying down, as it were. But then we've always been intimidated by an English accent, haven't we? As far as the movie goes I agree that the aerial action scenes are great and the conflict between Ralph Richardson's arrogant, domineering father (a role he has perfected) and Anne Todd's humanistic daughter is well handled. On the other hand Nigel Patrick is a bit on the bland side, as is the lovey dovey stuff between him and Todd, as well as all the "Isn't Jet Air Travel Marvelous?" stuff that feels like it could have been made by the BOAC publicity dept. So, let's give this film a B which is a pretty generous grade for a movie predicated on a falsehood.
An incredible film wonderfully adapted by the great David Lean. The film has a few glitches, not the least of which was Geoffrey de Haviland, JR. died trying to reach Mach 1, not Geoffrey de Haviland, Sr., who lived to the ripe old age of 90. There's also the fact that the film intimates that a Brit achieved Mach 1 first but it was the American, Chuck Yeager, who did so in 1947. Having been around the test pilots who comprised the Mercury and Gemini programs of our space program, I can attest to their faster and higher rivalries and their playing fast and loose with rules. Nonetheless, these crazed miscreants are responsible for the "vision" brought out so boldly in this film. The actual aviation footage is something to see for those who have never seen what it took to reach Mach 1 back in the day.
It's David Lean
- Jack Robinson
Probably the most overlooked David Lean film, it is superb, particularly the flight from England to, I think as I remember, Egypt. I finally got a copy of the film, but the tape broke. Why isn't this film on disc? David Lean is (still) the greatest director ever.
One of the Greatest Aviation Movies
If you have not seen this David Lean movie, especially the English version, you are missing out on one of the best aviation movies ever made.