First and foremost, this is a story of courage, showing a man's triumph over physical disability and every obstacle raised to curtail his normal activities. Adapted from the biography [The Story of Douglas Bader] by his fellow pilot Paul Brickhill, it covers the career of Douglas Bader who, after losing both legs in a plane crash while stunting, succeeds in rejoining the RAF to become a Wing Commander in the last world war and one of the aces in the Battle of Britain.

First and foremost, this is a story of courage, showing a man’s triumph over physical disability and every obstacle raised to curtail his normal activities. Adapted from the biography [The Story of Douglas Bader] by his fellow pilot Paul Brickhill, it covers the career of Douglas Bader who, after losing both legs in a plane crash while stunting, succeeds in rejoining the RAF to become a Wing Commander in the last world war and one of the aces in the Battle of Britain.

From the cocky young recruit’s first day at the training station through all the gay comradeship and hazards of flying, Kenneth More (Bader) depicts with unerring skill the humor, friendliness and supreme fortitude of one of the war’s most honored heroes.

His determination to take up life where it nearly left off and return to the only job he knows, is shown without heroics. And this enhances its dramatic value. Every Air Force taboo on his disability is finally overcome and he gets airborne again with the outbreak of war.

Lyndon Brook plays the staunch friend who has to break the news to Bader of his affliction. Alexander Knox is quietly effective as the surgeon.

Reach for the Sky

UK

Production

Rank/Pinnacle. Director Lewis Gilbert; Producer Daniel M. Angel; Screenplay Lewis Gilbert; Camera Jack Asher; Editor John Shirley; Music John Addison; Art Director Bernard Robinson

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1956. Running time: 136 MIN.

With

Kenneth More Muriel Pavlow Lyndon Brook Lee Patterson Alexander Knox Dorothy Alison
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