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Reach For The Sky (Rank 1956, Kenneth More, Muriel Pavlow)

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A classic British biopic, telling the true story of WWII fighter pilot ace Douglas Bader, played by Kenneth More. Bader lost both legs in a flying accident but confounded both his doctor’s expectations and those of the RAF by learning to walk in time to marry his sweetheart Thelma (Muriel Pavlow) and to pass flying school.

Soon a squadron leader, Bader was shot down over France and captured by the Germans. With indefatigable resolve, he tried to escape so often that he was eventually confined to Colditz until the end of the war.

Director Lewis Gilbert, whose wartime-themed films include classics such as Carve Her Name With Pride/ and The Sea Shall Not Have Them/ , went on to direct the equally classic Alfie/ as well as three superior Bond films.

production details
UK / Rank – Pinnacle / 135 minutes / 1956

Writer and Director: Lewis Gilbert
Book: Paul Brickhill
Cinematography: Jack Asher
Music: John Addison
Producer: Daniel M. Angel

cast
Kenneth More as Douglas Bader
Charles Carson as Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding
Muriel Pavlow as Thelma Bader
Lee Patterson as Turner
Michael Warre as Harry Day
Walter Hudd as Air Vice-Marshal Halahan
Basil Appleby as Crowley-Milling
Eddie Byrne as Flight Sergeant Mills
Beverley Brooks as Sally
Avice Landone as Douglas Bader’s Mother
Eric Pohlmann as Adjutant of Prison Camp
Sam Kydd as Warrant Officer Blake
Michael Ripper as Warrant Officer West
Harry Locke as Bates
Peter Byrne as Civilian Pilot Witnessing Bader’s Crash (uncredited)
Alexander Knox as Mr. Joyce
Derek Blomfield as Civilian Pilot
Lyndon Brook as Johnny Sanderson
Ernest Clark as Wing Commander Beiseigel
Sydney Tafler as Robert Desoutter
Ronald Adam as Air Vice-Marshal Leigh-Mallory
Michael Gough as Flying Instructor Pearson
Dorothy Alison as Nurse Brace
Philip Stainton as Police Constable