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The Way To The Stars AKA: Johnny In The Clouds


List Price: $19.93
Price: $14.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Editorial Reviews

Set in World War II, this is the tale of a group of pilots as they go through their experiences of life, love and loss. Their relationships are highlighted and the impact of war and destruction is shown to affect not just those doing battle, but those left at home as well. Product Specs: DVD9; Dolby Digital 2.0; 109 minutes; B&W; Aspect Ratio - 1.33:1 - 4x3; Year - 1845; SRP - $19.99

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Redgrave, John Mills, Rosamund John, Douglass Montgomery, Renee Asherson
  • Directors: Anthony Asquith
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: VCI Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 3, 2011
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004R6EF9A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,700 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

A great story, well told in typical English fashion, meaning with skill and superb acting.
non entity me
There is no division between Brit and American; the charm of this film is the instant camaraderie formed between the two.
E. (Harry) Hernandez
The film catches the sustained mood of hope and fear, punctuated by moments of terror, hilarity, panic and relief.
J. Lovins

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By K. Gordon TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 6, 2011
Format: DVD
Sappy, melodramatic and dated at times, but also very well done, and emotionally
understated enough that the sappiness doesn't take over the experience.

The film traces 4 years in the life of a British Royal Air Force base during WW II (1940-1944). An
interesting approach to a war film, in that the camera never shows battle, never leaves the
ground, but focuses on the lives of the fliers, their officers, and their women. That can lead
to a certain soap opera quality, but also to a film that doesn't feel quite like any other war film I've seen.

The acting is mostly top notch (Michael Redgrave, in particular), although some of
the many characters fall into caricature.

But the film isn't afraid to kill off major characters, and deal with the emotional consequences.
Some of the most interesting and moving scenes are how the men deal with losses with almost
complete suppression of emotion - which feels very honest.

Also, there's some real fun had with the differences between the UK fliers, and the US troops
who join them in 1942.

One of those films my head felt I should rate lower, but I had to admit I enjoyed far more
than I expected.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael B. Druxman on June 22, 2011
Format: DVD
THE WAY TO THE STARS (1945) is the story of an airfield and the people who pass through it from 1940 to 1944.

What's interesting about this war film, also known as JOHNNY IN THE CLOUDS, is that, although it is set during World War II, there are no battle scenes. All of the action takes place at the British military airfield and in the small nearby village.

At first, it's the British who fly bombing missions from the field, but then the Americans come in and most of the Brits are transferred elsewhere.

The film was written by Terence Rattigan, directed by Anthony Asquith and stars John Mills, Michael Redgrave, Rosamund John, Douglass Montgomery, Basil Radford and Stanley Holloway. It also features the first film appearances of Trevor Howard and Jean Simmons.

THE WAY TO THE STARS is filled with three-dimensional characters who grow and mature as the events of the world conflict affect their individual lives and relationships. This is one of the most touching war movies I've ever seen. I cannot recommend it too highly.

© Michael B. Druxman
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Format: DVD
VCI Entertainment and Two Cities Films presents "THE WAY TO THE STARS" (aka: Johnny In The Clouds) (1945) (109 min/B&W) -- Starring Michael Redgrave, John Mills, Rosamund John, Douglass Montgomery, Renée Asherson, Stanley Holloway, Basil Radford,Felix Aylmer, Bonar Colleano, Joyce Carey & Trevor Howard

Directed by Anthony Asquith

Another winner from the British Invasion released by VCI. The film catches the sustained mood of hope and fear, punctuated by moments of terror, hilarity, panic and relief. But these are moments. The unique thing in The Way to the Stars is the sense that everyday life had to be preserved by continuing to live it.

Riveting and heroic, tragic and brave, understated, strong - very character driven. It has no battle scenes- we see only the effect of battle on the intertwined lives present on an RAF WWII air base.

There is an ensemble of emotions, but the theme concentrates on stiff upper lip stoicism as bomber aircrew are faced with terrible odds of survival, and friends and loved ones make the best of the situation.

Outstanding is Douglass Montgomery in a strong supporting performance as Johnny Hollis, from whose character the alternate title "Johnny In The Clouds" is derived. It is his best work and he is incredibly good- he should have netted an British or Oscar nomination for his performance here. He has over twenty scenes and is unforgettable in all of them.

Look for actress Jean Simmons as the singer in the Big Band at the dance celebration.

Special footnote: -- The film was obviously made as a morale booster at the end of the war in Europe and features an outstanding poem that serves as an epitaph to airmen killed in action.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By E. (Harry) Hernandez VINE VOICE on August 22, 2010
Format: DVD
To begin, THE WAY TO THE STARS (a/k/a JOHNNY IN THE CLOUDS, 1945) is one of director Anthony Asquith's finest works (another is THE WINSLOW BOY, see my review). Both these films were written by Terence Rattigan, and I can see no reason why either Asquith or Rattigan are mocked as much as they are.

Note: the title confusion is only a reference to a poem written by one of the characters. In truth, since the main title is both the U.S. and U.K. title, I don't know where the alternate title is supposed to fit!

THE WAY TO THE STARS is a surprising, moving and superbly acted work. It's the story of an RAF Airbase being overtaken by Americans during the war, circa 1942. The cast, headed by Michael Redgrave (Flight Lt. David Archdale) and Trevor Howard as Squadron Ldr. Howard, is absolutely top-notch. In fact, Asquith, who befriended Howard immediately, predicted rightly that Howard would be huge in film. Howard, of course, is legendary today.

Douglas Montgomery, a Connecticut native with a British-sounding lilt to his voice and heartbreaking good looks, plays Lt. Johnny Hollis, the American pilot whose life ends near the end of the film, as Flt. Lt. Archdale's ends at the beginning. Montgomery, who will look totally familiar, did few films and very little tv. He was a bit gay even at this time onscreen, which may account for his lack of future roles: his acting is like none I've ever seen. Cool, sweet, and sincere.

John Mills (GANDHI, BEAN) as Pilot Officer Peter Penrose almost steals the show if not for the presence of Montgomery. The quite stillness, the power, of Mills' performance here is not to be missed in all the history of cinema. Even now I watch Mills and declare I've never watched a Brit actor better than Mills.
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