Reach for the Sky (1956)

“You know my views about some regulations – they’re written for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men.” – Harry Day

Number of Times Seen – 1 (19 Feb 2020)

Brief Synopsis – Biography of the famous British pilot who despite losing his legs, became one of the best Fighter pilots during World War II.

My Take on it – This is a film that I came across by accident and was quite surprised at how good it was.

They do a wonderful job showing how inner strength and perseverance can be used in order to try and overcome many difficulties and obstacles that one may face in life.

The way that things are presented help make things even more poignant to watch unfold as the main character begins to learn more about himself along the way that help him to continue to strive for being the best.

Kenneth More is great in the lead role and despite the fact that some of the scenes look strange as he tries to pretend he has no legs and the archaic special effects don’t help hide that fact at all.

The film is able to bring up some really intriguing issues faced by this character and we get to care so much about what he will do and how he will find ways to overcome his handicap.

The film does an amazing job with the aerial effects and helps make the dog fights look and feel even more realistic.

This is pretty impressive especially given the state of special effects at the time.

This is a perfect example of a film that has both successful and unsuccessful effects aspects, yet still manages to work.

Bottom Line – Great biopic that show how strength and perseverance can be useful in overcoming many difficulties in life. The story works really well in all that it shows and helps make things feel even more poignant. More is great in the lead even though, many of the scenes look a bit strange as they try and pretend that he has no legs like his character.  The issues that this film brings up are done really well and make us care so much about this character and all that he had to endure. The aerial battles are shot extremely well and feel quite realistic which is impressive given the kind of effects that were prevalent at the time that this was filmed. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Wing Commander Harry Day (played by Michael Warre) who had been shot down very early in the war, was a mastermind in numerous mass POW escape attempts, including the breakout from Stalag Luft 3 in March 1944 – later immortalised in The Great Escape (1963). However Day’s role in the actual escape isn’t directly mentioned – credit being given to Roger Bushell – the other mastermind of that attempt. Bushell was one of the 50 executed after recapture. Day was recaptured but survived, despite being sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp – and escaping from there, being recaptured again. He survived the war being held in the death cells at Sachsenhausen for many months, later becoming technical advisor to this film. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)


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One thought on “Reach for the Sky (1956)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1956 | MovieRob

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