Daniel Angel, British independent film producer best known for 1956’s “Reach for the Sky,” died Dec. 13 of natural causes in London. He was 88.
Angel’s “Reach” was one of postwar England’s most popular films. It followed the life of air ace Douglas Bader, who lost both legs in a crash in 1931. He learned to walk on artificial limbs, and was able to fly again in World War II. “Reach” won a Baftra Award for Best British Film in 1957.
Like Bader, Angel suffered from a disability. He contracted polio while serving on the border between India and Burma in 1942, and was paralyzed from the waist down. He learned to walk with crutches until he was restricted to a wheelchair in 1971.
Angel made three short films after his recovery: “All the King’s Horses,” “All the King’s Men” and “All the King’s Music.” In 1954, he produced “The Sea Shall Not Have Them,” a film about a seaplane crash.
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After the success of “Reach for the Sky,” Angel produced “Carve Her Name in Pride” (1958), starring Virginia McKenna and Jack Warner.
In 1960, he became one of the first film producers to sell his work to TV, which angered cinema owners. For three years, his name was cut from the credits when his films were screened.
Angel next became joint managing director of British Home Entertainment, an early pay-per-view company.
His last film was 1975’s “The Romantic Englishman,” starring Michael Caine and Glenda Jackson.
He is survived by two daughters.