6.9/10
1,491
25 user 19 critic

The Sound Barrier (1952)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, War | 21 December 1952 (USA)
Fictionalized story of British aerospace engineers solving the problem of supersonic flight.

Director:

David Lean

Writers:

Terence Rattigan (story), Terence Rattigan (screenplay)
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Madeleine (1950)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The middle-class family of a young woman cannot understand why she delays in marrying a respectable young man. They know nothing about her long-standing affair with a Frenchman.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Ann Todd, Norman Wooland, Ivan Desny
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The Passionate Friends were in love when young, but separated, and she married an older man. Then Mary Justin meets Steven Stratton again and they have one last fling together in the Alps.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Ann Todd, Trevor Howard, Claude Rains
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Henry Hobson is a successful bootmaker, a widower and a tyrannical father of three daughters. The girls each want to leave their father by getting married, but Henry refuses because marriage traditions require him to pay out settlements.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Charles Laughton, John Mills, Brenda de Banzie
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Noël Coward's attempt to show how the ordinary people lived between the wars. Just after World War I, the Gibbons family moves to a nice house in the suburbs. An ordinary sort of life is ... See full summary »

Director: David Lean
Stars: Robert Newton, Celia Johnson, Amy Veness
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

This "story of a ship", the British destroyer H.M.S. Torrin, is told in flashbacks by survivors as they cling to a life raft.

Directors: Noël Coward, David Lean
Stars: Noël Coward, John Mills, Bernard Miles
Summertime (1955)
Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A lonely American woman unexpectedly finds romance in Venice, Italy.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Rossano Brazzi, Isa Miranda
Blithe Spirit (1945)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Charles and his second wife, Ruth, are haunted by the spirit of his first wife, Elvira. Medium Madame Arcati tries to help things out by contacting the ghost.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Rex Harrison, Constance Cummings, Kay Hammond
Oliver Twist (1948)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An orphan named Oliver Twist meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. From there, he joins a household of boys who are trained to steal for their master.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Robert Newton, Alec Guinness, Kay Walsh
Adventure | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A humble orphan suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor.

Director: David Lean
Stars: John Mills, Valerie Hobson, Tony Wager
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Cultural mistrust and false accusations doom a friendship in British colonial India between an Indian doctor, an Englishwoman engaged to marry a city magistrate, and an English educator.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Judy Davis, Victor Banerjee, Peggy Ashcroft
The Blue Lamp (1950)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The daily routine of two London Policemen is interrupted by a killer.

Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Jack Warner, Dirk Bogarde, Jimmy Hanley
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The wartime daily routine on a British bomber base in southeastern England is revealed through the eyes of newly arrived Flying Officer Peter Penrose.

Director: Anthony Asquith
Stars: Michael Redgrave, John Mills, Rosamund John
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ralph Richardson ... J. R.
Ann Todd ... Susan
Nigel Patrick ... Tony
John Justin ... Philip
Dinah Sheridan ... Jess
Joseph Tomelty ... Will
Denholm Elliott ... Chris
Jack Allen ... 'Windy'
Ralph Michael Ralph Michael ... Fletcher
Edit

Storyline

Tony successful fighter pilot during World War II marries into the family of a wealthy oil magnate who also designs airplanes. The movie traces the company's attempt to break the sound barrier, as well as tensions between father and daughter. Lots of footage of early 50s jet aviation in Great Britain as well as shots of the Comet airliner, world's first jet passenger plane. Written by Henry Brugsch <henry@g0gku.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Jet Packed Excitement! Jet Packed Danger! Jet Packed Romance! The Greatest Adventure Story of Our Time! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 December 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Breaking Through the Sound Barrier See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

£250,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)| Mono (Sound Recording of the breaking of the sound barrier made by John W. Davies - afterwards known in the industry as Jack Sound.)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The featured aircraft was a Supermarine Swift. See more »

Goofs

Garthwaite, having just alighted from a Comet airliner with his wife, is seen reading that evening's newspaper dated Saturday, 28th September 1946. The Comet didn't make its maiden flight until July1949 and didn't enter service until 1952. See more »

Quotes

Chris: Did you get my present?
Susan: Oh, darling, thank you so much. It was a lovely present. We adored it, didn't we?
Tony Garthwaite: Oh, yes, rather. We adored it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, immediately after the human actors, are listed four British aircraft: The de Havilland COMET The Vickers-Supermarine ATTACKER The de Havilland VAMPIRE 113 The Vickers-Supermarine SWIFT Rolls-Royce 'Avon' Engine See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Bit Part (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

With Sword and Lance
(uncredited)
Music by Hermann Starke
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

An evocative look at British inventive genius
1 March 1999 | by mikegukSee all my reviews

This black and white early 50s movie shows crusty Britain at its stiff upper lip best. It is the story of mans obsession with speed, and a ruthless plane makers ambition to succeed in building a supersonic jet. Richardson plays the tycoon whose dream kills his son and son-in-law, but who finally sees the error of his ways and whose daughter returns to the cold family home with his grandson.

The film is also a vehicle to show the world Britain's proud lead in jet technology. There is a classic sequence in the film where the happy daughter and son-in-law deliver a De Havilland Vampire jet fighter to Egypt. They set off at breakfast time in England and hurtle over the English Channel, the Alps, Ancient Greece and the Pyramids before arriving in at the airfield. Of course we take this for granted now, but 47 years ago this was unheard of. The director contrasts the old ruins and remains of our ancient ancestors with the marvel of the modern age: the jet plane.

The film also introduced THE marvel of the early fifties, the De Havilland Comet jet liner. This beautiful but flawed machine was in service SIX years before any other jet liner and for a while, the world rushed to De Havillands, and Britains door. For two years the worldwide fleet gave the travelling of the future.

In every other way this is an eccentrically English film with creaky old houses, cottages with roses around the door and eccentric engineers. Shout in glorious black and white it conveys a sense of wonder and optimism in the future, whilst being thoroughly old fashioned


34 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 25 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed