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Reach For The Sky (1956)

Kenneth More , Muriel Pavlow , Lewis Gilbert  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kenneth More, Muriel Pavlow, Lyndon Brook, Lee Patterson, Alexander Knox
  • Directors: Lewis Gilbert
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: VCI Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 6, 2011
  • Run Time: 136 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005HQBO9S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,052 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Based on the novel by Paul Brickhill, this is the remarkable true story of Douglas Bader, a pilot in the RAF who overcomes every obstacle to prove his worth. He is a young and ambitious pilot who, after a plane crash, is badly injured. Although doctors expect him to die, he survives but loses both his legs. As his colleagues prepare for his horror and devastation, they find instead a determination in him which refuses to be changed by the accident. He re-enters the RAF where he is determined to continue his career as a pilot. A Winner of the BAFTA Film Award for Best Picture!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
83 of 96 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I first saw this movie on TV when I was very young, after having read the book. Loved the book, and the movie. Have had copies of both for a couple of decades now, both well worn. Based on the VHS copy, it is based on the book, and stays rather true to it, a common practice at one time. Assuming reasonable quality of the reproduction, this will be one of the best purchases you can make. A recent article in the Aeroplane on the movie and it's director, was an eye opener. Having read numerous other books that touched on Baders life, it was obvious that the portrayal of him in this movie was very mild, as very few people got along with the courageous and wilful DB. Evidently the actor playing him (Moore) was one of the few who ever did, as he was regarded as being an uncommonly charming man. Get the book, get the DVD, and find the article in the Aeroplane. All very worth while.

An update, January 22, 2012, on the quality of the DVD,from THE RANK COLLECTION:

Finally received the DVD, and am pleased to say that the video quality is excellent. With the exception of a few seconds where there is a slight 'shudder' or another with a ghosting effect, the quality of the images is consistently excellent. Numerous freeze frames were without exception beautifully clear and extremely sharp.

A word of not warning, but a heads up: The movie was made in 1956. It is a period piece, with no concessions to modern 'sensibilities'. It is NOT colorized, and remains in glorious black and white. Not star wars level special effects, and scenes in bars, cafes etc, have people smoking.... Late marks of Spitfire appear early in the war, but overall a very well done two hour movie covering ten years of an unusual life.

Speakers on unit DVD was played on are not great, so no comments on sound quality, which seems typical for its era.

Go for it, you will not be disappointed.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reach For The Sky March 24, 2004
Format:DVD
For ravaged post war Britain the 1950's was a time to focus on heroes. The most relevant place to look was leadership from World War 2. Names like Montgomery and Churchill came easily to mind. The name of RAF World War flying ace Douglas Bader however was one which conjured up images of fighter pilots fearlessly flying into outnumbered sorties against the German Luftwaffe juggernaught. The release of Reach For The Sky (1956) starring the popular English actor Kenneth More, fulfilled part of the British hero search. From Bader's early years to his loss of both legs in a reckless flying stunt. To his being brought back in the war to lead, among others, a squadron of Canadian airmen, this film provides an excellent example of 1950's British filmmaking.
It romanticizes the flying ace for what they were seen as at that time; Britain's saviour from the Axis Invaders.
If you enjoy this World War 2 film you will want to see others of its genre such as The Battle of Britain and The Dam Busters.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great aviation film January 7, 2012
By jms
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Uplifting story about English aviator who loses his legs and consequently his aviation career in the years before WW II. The story chronicles his fight to regain his ability to walk and regain his wings. True story and well told.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quintessential British 50's war movie December 10, 2007
Format:DVD
The most astonishing thing about Reach For The Sky is that it is a true story .Based on a book of the same name by Douglas Bader it relates Bader's life story with particular reference to his exploits in World War two.An aviator,Bader lost both legs in an accident prior to the outbreak of war ;he mastered the use of his artificial legs and on the outbreak of war re-enlisted in the RAF.He was forced to bail out during the Battle of Britain and was captured by Germans .Safter 3 failed attempts to escape the Gerrmans took away his artificial legs and placed him in a supposedly escape proof camp -except it was nothing of the sort.

The movie is tribute to the unbreakable spirit of an indomitable man .The mark of the British war movie as compared to the Hollywood product covering the same territory is that the British documentary heritage which infused so many war movies of the period-including this one -made UK movie less gung ho and the courage on display is often of the modest and unassuming variety .The scenes of his learning to live without his natural legs and his painful re-adjustment ,both mental and physical, to his new circumstances are not glossed over but neither are they dwelt upon ,We see him learning to play golf and to dance using the new legs and when we are shown his pain the camera often pulls away so we can imagine the turmoil he is enduring rather than being taken through it blow by blow .

Kenneth More is excellent as Bader (who by the way acted as technical adviser on the picture)and there is a plethora of solid supporting turns by a galaxy of British actors from the period -Michael Gough ,Nigel Green ,Jack Watling .
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Inspiring Movie June 29, 2008
Format:DVD
This movie is an excellent true story written by Paul Brickhill(The Great Escape) and acted out excellently. The production is superb and there is never a dull moment. It shows how a person handicapped (with 2 artificial legs) goes on to be not only a star pilot but also a Group Captain and one of the main strategists in the Battle of Britian.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
This is a great period film dramatizing the exploits of Lord Bader in WWII.
Published 2 days ago by Weston Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
ok
Published 4 days ago by CARL M.
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie was as good as I had expected
This movie was as good as I had expected. I've always admired the films coming out of the J. Arthur Rank studio in London and this one did not disappoint.
Published 9 days ago by Graham Hempel
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good movie about Douglas Bader who was unstoppable in WW2. Even escaped POW camp with no legs!
Published 15 days ago by Calamity538
4.0 out of 5 stars I would have like to have seen more about his time in captivity ...
This is a movie about a real man who lost both his legs and still became a combat pilot in World War II. Read more
Published 1 month ago by S. Hoben
4.0 out of 5 stars was reaccepted back into the RAF and went on to fight the Luftwaffe...
Recounts the RAF career and heroic deeds of RAF pilot Douglas Bader who, having lost his legs as a result of a pre-war crash, was reaccepted back into the RAF and went on to fight... Read more
Published 1 month ago by JazzerIvan
4.0 out of 5 stars A somewhat fictional account of the life of Douglas Bader
Based on the true events in the life of RAF ace Douglas Bader. I state that it is fictional in part because Bader is presented through rose colored glasses. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Rick
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic 1960's movie transferred to DVD
Excellent quality DVD with zero flaws in the process. Saw this many years ago on my vhs, so was very pleasantly surprised by the quality. Read more
Published 2 months ago by David Marlow
3.0 out of 5 stars Movies review.
The movie deleted much of what was in the book of the same title, which was what this film was based on. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Charlie S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Something for everyone
This is based on the true story of Douglas Bader, a British aviator who lost both legs in an air crash and through perseverance, determination and a little moxie returned to fly... Read more
Published 4 months ago by L. Yunger
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