Nominated for a BAFTA for Best British Film,Angels One Fiveis the story of the Battle of Britain from the perspective of the men and women on the ground, running the RAF base where the planes were based.
Jack Hawkins stars as Group Captain ‘Tiger’ Small alongside Michael Denison as Sq. Leader Peter Moon; the two top men in charge of the RAF fighter base in Kent. It’s the summer of 1940 and new pilot Baird (John Gregson) is bringing in a replacement Hurricane but crashes it on the runway, almost killing top pilot Flt Lt. ‘Batchy’ Salter (Humphrey Lestocq). Baird is subsequently demoted from flying to a position in the ops room.
But when German bombers head for the RAF base and all pilots are ordered into the air, Baird takes his opportunity and captures a Messerschmidt. He is later reprimanded for his lack of discipline but then promoted as a member of the squadron. Soon he confirms his place as a courageous and skilful pilot, earning number two spot next to his former nemesis, Salter. But on a mission together the two are caught in a dogfight. Baird manages to warn Salter that a Messerschmidt is on his tail and saves his friend’s life but is subsequently shot down himself.
‘By concentrating on one particular squadron, a few combats and a handful of people… the makers of the film have achieved a good deal… Jack Hawkins, Michael Denison and John Gregson fill the three leading roles with authority,’ said Monthly Film Bulletin , while the Sunday Times said the film ‘has a simplicity and a lack of affectation which are heart rending.’
UK / 98 minutes / 1954
Director:George More O’Ferrall
Writers:Derek N. Twist, Pelham Groom,
John Gregson as Pilot Officer T.B. ‘Septic’ Baird
Jack Hawkins as Group Captain ‘Tiger’ Small
Michael Denison as Squadron Leader Peter Moon
Cyril Raymond as Squadron Leader Barry Clinton
Veronica Hurst as Betty Carfax
Harold Goodwin as A.C. 2 Wailes
Geoffrey Keen as Company Sergeant Major
Philip Stainton as Police Constable
Vida Hope as W.A.A.F.
Ronald Adam as Group Controller
Humphrey Lestocq as Flight Lieutenant ‘Batchy’ Salter
Andrew Osborn as Squadron Leader Bill Ponsford
Dulcie Gray as Nadine Clinton
Norman Pierce as ‘Bonzo’
Peter Jones as Sentry
Russell Hunter as Pimpernel Pilot
Harry Fowler as Airman
Amy Veness as Aunt Tabitha
Harry Locke as Look Out
Victor Maddern as Airman
Sam Kydd as Mess Waiter
Marianne Stone as W.A.A.F
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