Breaking the Sound Barrier (The Sound Barrier)
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Breaking the Sound Barrier (The Sound Barrier)
Breaking the Sound Barrier juxtaposes the history of jet aviation with an intensely personal fictional story. Ralph Richardson plays a wealthy aircraft manufacturer, stubbornly determined to develop a jet that will travel faster than the speed of sound. Richardson's seemingly cavalier attitude toward the pilots who have died on behalf of his dream--including his own son (Denholm Elliott)--has turned his daughter (Ann Todd) against him. When the daughter's fighter-pilot husband (Nigel Patrick) agrees to test Richardson's jet, he too loses his life. The daughter walks out of her… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The aerodynamic issues in the movie may now be antiquated, but the excitement and beauty of early jet aviation are still irresistible."
‑ David Denby, New Yorker
"Public excitement over jet travel helped make David Lean's 1952 British feature a big hit, though its science doesn't wash and its majestic aerial sequences are uneasily wedded to a starchy familial drama."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"A great British film that celebrates technological achievement while also questioning the virtues of such achievement."
‑ Daniel Etherington, Film4
"It's both Lean's technical know-how and his ability to make the melodrama moving that makes this a superior film of this ilk."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"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."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Technically, artistically and emotionally, this is a topflight British offering."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Richardson, in his understated way, is powerful, if not frightening, as an airplane manufacturer obsessed with breaking the sound barrier."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Unfortunately, Terence Rattigan's script, while solidly structured, never probes beyond the basic conceit that an obsession which works towards the glory of mankind in general may wreak havoc on private lives."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"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."
‑ , Empire Magazine
"Ralph Richardson gives a brilliant performance in this British fact-based drama directed by David Lean."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
More reviews for Breaking the Sound Barrier (The Sound Barrier) on Rotten Tomatoes