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The Sound Barrier (1952)

aka The Sound Barrier

Directed By: 
Written By: 
Details: 118 mins · English


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The plot involves John Ridgefield (Ralph Richardson), a wealthy owner of an aircraft company. Nigel Patrick plays test pilot Tony Garthwaite, a successful fighter pilot during the Second World War who is employed by Ridgefield after marrying Susan (Ann Todd), Ridgefield's daughter. Tensions between father and daughter are accentuated by Garthwaite's dangerous job of test flying.

The film explores the company's hopes for a new jet fighter, the "Prometheus" and the problems faced by the then-new jet aircraft in encountering the speed of sound, the so-called "sound barrier." In an attempt to break the sound barrier, Garthwaite crashes and is killed. Shocked at the death of her husband and her father's single-minded and heartless approach to the dangers his test pilots face, Susan walks out on her father and goes to live with Jess (Dinah Sheridan), the wife of Philip Peel (John Justin), another company test pilot. Ridgefield approaches Peel with the challenge of piloting his test aircraft. At the critical moment, Peel reverses his flight controls, allowing his plane to break the sound barrier.

Accepting that her father cared about those whose lives were lost in tests, Susan changes her plan of moving to London and takes her young son with her back to home and Sir John.

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