Breaking the Sound Barrier (1952): David Lean Directs Terence Rattigan Aerial Drama Starring Ralph Richardson

Ralph Richardson plays a manufacturer, who continues to develop experimental planes, even after the death of his son (Denholm Elliott), while testing one of them.
His daughter (Ann Todd) fears that her husband (Nigel Patrick), a former fighter pilot, would become a victim too of her father’s ambition to achieve supersonic flight.
Oscar-nominated writer Terence Rattigan (who was an aerial gunner in WWII)  is known for penning some of the best British dramas of the 1940s and 1950s, many of them made into films, such as “The Browning Version,” Starring Michael Redgrave, “The Prince and the Shopgirl,” with Olivier and Marilyn Monroe.
David Lean directed this drama starring his then wife (Todd), which benefits from the great aerial cinematography by maestro Jack Hildyard .
Oscar Nominations: 2

Story and Screenplay: Terence Rattigan
Sound Recording: London Film Sound Department

Oscar Awards: 1

Sound Recording

Oscar Context

In 1952, the Story and Screenplay Oscar went to another Brit, T.E. B. Clarke for the Alec Guinness comedy, “The Lavender Hill Mob.”

Playwright Terrence Rattigan received a second nomination in 1958, for “Separate Tables,” for a script he co-penned with John Gay.

United Artists (UK, London Films)


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