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      Breaking the Sound Barrier

      Released Dec 21, 1952 1h 55m Adventure List
      80% Tomatometer 15 Reviews 63% Audience Score 250+ Ratings With a passion for aviation design and engineering, wealthy oilman John Ridgefield (Ralph Richardson) is determined to break the sound barrier with the aircraft company he owns. He has already lost his son in the pursuit, and his daughter, Susan (Ann Todd), resents her father even more when he chooses her husband, World War II pilot Tony Garthwaite (Nigel Patrick), to be one of the test pilots. Yet Ridgefield stands resolute in the name of scientific progress. Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

      View All (15) Critics Reviews
      David Denby New Yorker The aerodynamic issues in the movie may now be antiquated, but the excitement and beauty of early jet aviation are still irresistible. May 1, 2013 Full Review Empire Magazine It's an interesting scientific-military soap opera, acted with stiff upper-lip restraint by a great cast, but Lean's visual sense really comes into play in the aerial sequences. Rated: 4/5 May 1, 2013 Full Review Bosley Crowther New York Times This must be said about this picture: it soars far above its clumsy tag and it comes pretty close to being the most exalting of contemporary films. Rated: 4.5/5 May 1, 2013 Full Review Yasser Medina Cinefilia This aircraft film directed by Lean is very exciting. [Full review in Spanish] Rated: 7/10 Jul 15, 2020 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy One of the more overlooked achievements from the director of The Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia. Rated: 3/4 May 12, 2020 Full Review Tom Cassidy Common Sense Media Thoughtful and thrilling test pilot drama; moments of peril. Rated: 4/5 Mar 12, 2020 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (17) audience reviews
      Audience Member An absolute classic! The movie is a master class in movie making, superb cinematography and well acted too. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/12/23 Full Review Audience Member one of leans 'little pictures' Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/21/23 Full Review Audience Member The subject matter sounds very boring, but the film does manage to bring some credible drama to what is essentially a film about testing jet engines. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/06/23 Full Review Audience Member David Lean at his most effective. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/20/23 Full Review Audience Member An exciting Lean film and unlike anything I've really seen from him before. It is a smaller scale to most of his best works but it contains plenty of thrills. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/21/23 Full Review Audience Member Love that movie. Ralph Richardson was so good!! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/27/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      Breaking the Sound Barrier

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      Cast & Crew

      91% 85% The Four Feathers 100% 40% Dark Journey 100% 78% Captain Horatio Hornblower 100% 55% The World in His Arms 80% 38% Hell and High Water Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

      Movie Info

      Synopsis With a passion for aviation design and engineering, wealthy oilman John Ridgefield (Ralph Richardson) is determined to break the sound barrier with the aircraft company he owns. He has already lost his son in the pursuit, and his daughter, Susan (Ann Todd), resents her father even more when he chooses her husband, World War II pilot Tony Garthwaite (Nigel Patrick), to be one of the test pilots. Yet Ridgefield stands resolute in the name of scientific progress.
      Director
      David Lean
      Producer
      David Lean
      Screenwriter
      Terence Rattigan
      Distributor
      Lopert Pictures Corp.
      Production Co
      London Film Production, British Lion Film Corporation
      Genre
      Adventure
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Dec 21, 1952, Original
      Release Date (DVD)
      May 27, 2008
      Runtime
      1h 55m