6.8/10
1,542
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 »

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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
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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:

They lived and loved, like the jets they flew - fast and dangerous! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 December 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Breaking Through the Sound Barrier See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP250,000 (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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

About the Comet. If you watch as the lady crosses the hanger floor, there is a Comet in the background, not painted, but in parts. The company flying the Prometheus did not make the Comet. See more »

Goofs

When Susan tells her husband she is pregnant, she tells him the baby is due around Christmas, but when the child is born, the weather is warm and sunny, suggesting the child is anything but a December baby. See more »

Quotes

Philip Peel: You know, when I got your wire, I thought you must be tight.
Tony Garthwaite: I probably was.
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 »


Soundtracks

Daddy Wouldn't Buy Me a Bow-Wow
(uncredited)
Written by Joseph Tabrar
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Back Toward the Future
24 March 2004 | by skallisjrSee all my reviews

The opening of the film, when a World War II fighter pilot hit what used to be called "compressibility," was a suspenseful interlude for the audience, particularly since it wasn't explained at the time.

The film was shot in monochrome, and was produced during a time that technology was accelerating, and this was one of the early films outside some of the science-fiction films of the era that was pro-technology. It is interesting that most of the major characters were obsessed with pushing the envelope.

As has been mentioned elsewhere, the "solution" presented to maintaining control of a supersonic aircraft actually is inaccurate. When a reporter asked the person who first actually broke the sound barrier, Gen. Chuck Yaeger, about that "solution," he indicated that doing what was proposed would have ensured the death of the pilot.

The film is well worth watching, if for no other reason than to get a taste of people taking baby steps in the new world of postwar technology.


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