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Reach For The Sky

4.4 out of 5 stars 115 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Flier Douglas Bader loses his legs in a 1931 crash and rejoins the RAF as a World War II wing commander.

Special Features

None.

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.)
  • 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 (115 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005HQBO9S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,532 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Barry Fortier on October 11, 2011
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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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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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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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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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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