Reach for the Sky (1956)

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    There are 12 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by ethanedwards.

    • Reach for the Sky (1956)

      REACH FOR THE SKY

      DIRECTED BY LEWIS GILBERT
      PRODUCED BY DANIEL M. ANGEL/ANTHONY NELSON KEYS
      ANGEL PRODUCTIONS/RANK FILM DISTRIBUTORS
      26289 - Reach For the Sky.jpg

      Information From IMDb
      Plot Summary
      The true story of airman Douglas Bader who overcame
      the loss of both legs in a 1931 flying accident to become
      a successful fighter pilot and wing leader during World War II.
      Written by E.A. Milne

      Full Cast
      Kenneth More ... Douglas Bader
      Muriel Pavlow ... Thelma Bader
      Lyndon Brook ... Johnny Sanderson
      Lee Patterson ... Stan Turner
      Alexander Knox ... Mr. Joyce
      Dorothy Alison ... Nurse Sally Brace
      Michael Warre ... Harry Day
      Sydney Tafler ... Robert Desoutter
      Howard Marion-Crawford ... 'Woody' Woodhall (as Howard Marion Crawford)
      Jack Watling ... Peel
      Nigel Green ... Streatfield
      Anne Leon ... Sister Thornhill
      Charles Carson ... Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding
      Ronald Adam ... Air Vice-Marshal Leigh-Mallory
      Walter Hudd ... Air Vice-Marshal Halahan
      Basil Appleby ... Crowley-Milling
      Philip Stainton ... Police Constable
      Eddie Byrne ... Flight Sergeant Mills
      Beverley Brooks ... Sally (as Beverly Brooks)
      Michael Ripper ... Warrant Officer West
      Derek Blomfield ... Civilian Pilot
      Avice Landone ... Douglas Bader's Mother
      Eric Pohlmann ... Adjutant at Prison Camp
      Michael Gough ... Flying Instructor Pearson
      Harry Locke ... Bates
      Sam Kydd ... Warrant Officer Blake
      Frank Atkinson ... Tullin (uncredited)
      Balbina ... Lucille (uncredited)
      Michael Balfour ... Orderly (uncredited)
      Trevor Bannister ... Man Listening to Radio (uncredited)
      Victor Beaumont ... German Doctor (uncredited)
      Roland Brand ... Canadian Pilot / Coltishall II (uncredited)
      John Breslin ... Cadet Mason (uncredited)
      Peter Burton ... Peter / Coltishall Officer (uncredited)
      Peter Byrne ... Civilian Pilot Who Witnesses Bader's Crash
      Paul Carpenter ... Hall (uncredited)
      Ernest Clark ... Wing Commander Beiseigel (uncredited)
      Hugh David ... Cadet Taylor (uncredited)
      Stringer Davis ... Cyril Borge (uncredited)
      Guy De Monceau ... Gilbert Petit (uncredited)
      Anton Diffring ... German Stabsfeldwebel (uncredited)
      Basil Dignam ... Air Ministry Doctor (uncredited)
      Patricia Fox ... Nurse (uncredited)
      Raymond Francis ... Wing Commander Hargreaves (uncredited)
      Alice Gachet ... Madame Hiecque (uncredited)
      Philip Gilbert ... Canadian Pilto / Coltishall II (uncredited)
      Fred Griffiths ... Lorry Driver (uncredited)
      Alexander Harris ... Don Richardson (uncredited)
      Frank Hawkins ... Drill Sgt (uncredited)
      Charles Lamb ... Walker / Desoutters Aide (uncredited)
      Jack Lambert ... Adrian Stoop (uncredited)
      Barry Letts ... Tommy (uncredited)
      Philip Levene ... Sgt Williams, Tangmere (uncredited)
      Jeremy Longhurst ... Jones (uncredited)
      Richard Marner ... German Officer in Staff Car (uncredited)
      Roger Maxwell ... Pantiles (uncredited)
      Julia Nelson ... Bit Role (uncredited)
      Ronan O'Casey ... Canadian Pilot / Coltishall II (uncredited)
      Rene Poirier ... Monsieur Hiecque (uncredited)
      Clive Revill ... RAF Batman Who Helps Bader with His New Legs (uncredited)
      George Rose ... Squadron Leader Edwards (uncredited)
      Grace Denbigh Russell ... Bit Role (uncredited)
      Delene Scott ... Bit Role (uncredited)
      Barry Steele ... Wounded Sergeant / St. Omer Pilot (uncredited)
      John Stone ... Limping Officer (uncredited)
      Derek Sydney ... Mechanic / Uxbridge (uncredited)
      Jack Taylor ... British Pilot / Coltishall (uncredited)
      Pamela Thomas ... Hilda (uncredited)
      Russell Waters ... Pearson (uncredited)
      Patrick Westwood ... RAF Corporal / Diver (uncredited)
      Ian Whittaker ... Batman at Duxford (uncredited)
      Gareth Wigan ... Woodhall's Assistant (uncredited)
      Howard Williams ... Cadet, Ticket Match (uncredited)

      Writing Credits
      Paul Brickhill (book "The Story of Douglas Bader)
      Lewis Gilbert (screenplay)
      Vernon Harris (additional scenes)

      Original Music
      John Addison

      Cinematography
      Jack Asher (director of photography)

      Trivia
      Kenneth More had his legs cased in Aluminium in order to accuratly convey Bader's style of walking with his metal legs.

      Originally scripted with Richard Burton in mind for the lead role. The book The Golden Gong - Fifty years of the Rank Organisation, its films and its stars by Quentin Falk states that Kenneth More " . . . was second choice, after Richard Burton, to play the Second World War fighter pilot Douglas Bader."

      Biggest grossing British film of 1956 and the most successful film in England since Gone with the Wind (1939).

      Douglas Bader received a CBE from the Queen (Commander of the British Empire) for services to the disabled the same year that the film was released.

      The nursing cap and badge worn by Anne Leon was loaned by the real life Matron Thornhill from Brompton Hospital. As portrayed in the film, the then Sister Thornhill nursed Bader in the critical weeks following his accident. Miss Thornhill visited the set during the filming of the hospital scenes, casting a critical eye over the hospital procedures.

      Douglas Bader personally asked Dinah Sheridan to play the part of his wife, but her husband did not want her to accept the role.

      This film's opening prologue states: "Douglas Bader has become a legend in his own life time. His courage was not only an example to those in War but is now a source of inspiration to many in Peace. For dramatic purposes it has been necessary in this film to transpose in time certain events in Douglas Bader's life and also to re-shape some of the characters involved in this story. The Producers apologise to those who may have been affected by any changes or omissions."

      Goofs
      * Factual errors: When Bader is demonstrating his ability to fly the Hurricane to his new squadron of Canadian pilots, there is a long cut of the plane flying upside-down in a straight line. This was impossible in the Hurricane, as it had a gravity-fed carburettor. If you look carefully at the clouds, and how the sunlight reflects from them, the image has clearly been inverted.

      * Anachronisms: The scenes set in the days leading up to the onset of the Second World War feature late model Mark XVI Spitfires with 'teardrop' canopies, four-bladed propellers and cannon in the wings. In addition, the serial number on one aircraft (VT151) was an unused number from a block allocated to Gloster for a batch of Meteor F Mk 4's. (The serial can't be V7151 either, as this was an unused number from a block allocated to Gloster for a batch of Hawker Hurricanes - Gloster being part of the Hawker group).

      * Miscellaneous: During the meeting in Dowding's office there is a RAF plaque on his desk with a Queen's crown on it, which was correct for when the film was made, but when as the film is set in 1940 it should have been a King's crown.

      * Factual errors: When Douglas Bader is promoted and sent to command 242 Squadron at Coltishall, the Hurricanes bear the squadron code letters "SD". These were the actual code letters of 501 Squadron which flew Hurricanes in the Battle of Britain. The 242 Squadron codes were in fact "LE".

      * Factual errors: In the opening scene, raw recruits at Cranwell carry out a short but very complicated drill maneuver in civilian dress. In reality they would have known nothing on that first day.

      Filming Locations
      Bagshot, Surrey, England, UK
      Hyde Park, London, England, UK
      Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England, UK
      RAF Kenley, Kenley, Surrey, England, UK

      Memorable Quotes
      Best Wishes
      Keith
      London- England

      The post was edited 8 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Classic War Movies- Reach for the Sky (1956)

      Reach for the Sky is a 1956 British biographical film about aviator Douglas Bader,
      based on the 1954 biography of the same name by Paul Brickhill.
      The film stars Kenneth More and was directed by Lewis Gilbert.
      It won the BAFTA Award for Best British Film of 1956.
      The film's composer John Addison was Bader's brother-in-law.



      This week marks the 70th. anniversary of The Battle Of Britain,
      so a good time to feature some great British war movies.

      This the original classic film, feature above all
      Kenneth More's wonderful portayal of war hero Douglas Bader,
      and even had his legs cased in Aluminium in order to accuratly
      convey Bader's style of walking with his metal legs.

      The cast included many well known(at the time) British actors,
      was backed up by brilliant drama and photography.
      Great flying sequences and aerial shots abound,
      In order to realistically depict the various Royal Air Force bases,
      principal filming took place in Surrey at RAF Kenley,
      and around the village of Bagshot.
      Studio work was completed at the
      Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England, UK.
      Available wartime combat aircraft including Hawker Hurricane
      and Supermarine Spitfire fighters were arranged to take on the aerial scenes.

      Here is the true story of the Battle Of Britain
      Battle Of Britain
      Best Wishes
      Keith
      London- England

      The post was edited 8 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Classic War Movies- Reach for the Sky (1956)

      Hi All,
      Just to let you know that again being in the Air Training Corps (46F) squadron we visited many RAF Stations. We had the pleasure of meeting Douglas Bader and Bob Stanford-Tuck at North Weald when we were flying with 601 (City of London) Squadron which was a reserve unit that at the time was flying Meteors. Bader was reasonably approachable but Tuck was very stand offish. We were given some very useful tips by Bader and was at times very arrogant but also very forceful. Nice to revive some pleasant memories.
      Redcap
      RACMP - For the troops With the troops
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Reach for the Sky (1956)

      Hi

      One of my favourite Kenneth More films especially for the music.
      In real life Badar was quite arrogant but with what he had to endure I suppose that is pardonable.
      The one I feel most sorry for is the orderly who had to carry him up the many flights of stairs at colditz he had a very different opinion of Badar

      Regards

      Arthur
      Walk Tall - Talk Low
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Reach for the Sky (1956)

      Kenneth More was far too old to play Bader.



      Laurent wrote:

      I read Richard Burton refused to play Bader for political reasons. He would have been much more suitable age-wise.


      If you let that kind of stuff affect your enjoyment of a movie, your not allowing yourself the pleasure of the story. I watch a film to be entertained, not to pick apart the flaws. Unless they have a 52 year old actor playing a teenager, I never really take notice of such things. I watch a film to be entertained, and most times, I am. Just my opinion :shades_smile:

      Mark
      "I couldn't go to sleep at night if the director didn't call 'cut'. "
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Reach for the Sky (1956)

      dukefan1 wrote:

      If you let that kind of stuff affect your enjoyment of a movie, your not allowing yourself the pleasure of the story. I watch a film to be entertained, not to pick apart the flaws. Unless they have a 52 year old actor playing a teenager, I never really take notice of such things. I watch a film to be entertained, and most times, I am. Just my opinion :shades_smile:

      Mark


      Fair enough, but it was a bit funny seeing 42-year-old More playing Bader as an 18-year-old cadet.

      Bader was a Conservative and a friend of Churchill, which is why Burton turned the film down.

      I was reading a book about the New Wave of British films in the late 1950s like Room at the Top and Look Back in Anger. It suggested the success of movies like Reach for the Sky and The Cockleshell Heroes was due to audiences looking back nostalgically on the war years as a time when people knew their place and when the UK seemed like a world power. Of course, 1956 and the Suez Crisis proved this was no longer the case.
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Reach for the Sky (1956)

      Laurent wrote:

      I read Richard Burton refused to play Bader for political reasons. He would have been much more suitable age-wise.


      Laurent,
      I have asked you before not to drift off-topic
      and make some reason to mention the politics of the actors.
      The threads are for discussion not a platform for your political views
      Best Wishes
      Keith
      London- England
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Reach for the Sky (1956)

      Laurent wrote:

      I'm sure you are aware that Douglas Bader was a very controversial figure in the UK, particularly in the 1960s onwards.


      I will ask you one more time to stay on topic.
      Best Wishes
      Keith
      London- England