Reach for the Sky was a box-office hit in 1956 and rightly remains a fondly regarded classic of British cinema. Kenneth More is ideally cast as Douglas Bader, the gifted pilot who loses both legs in a pre-war air crash, only to play a major role in the Battle of Britain, rise to the rank of Group Captain and become a war hero. Based on Paul Brickhill's biography, this is an "official" history maybe, but Lewis Gilbert's screenplay and direction are historically accurate and informed by that very British humour, of which More was a natural. The film is graced by a decent supporting cast and a typically "widescreen" score from John Addison.
On the DVD: Reach for the Sky is vividly reproduced in 16:9 anamorphic format and decent mono. There are subtitles for the hard of hearing and detailed biographies of More, Gilbert and Barder. The original theatrical trailer is included, but it would also have made sense to include an interview or documentary footage of Bader himself. --Richard Whitehouse
United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Mono ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Black & White, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: The true story of airman Douglas Bader who overcame the loss of both legs in a 1931 flying accident to become a successful fighter pilot and wing leader during World War II. ...Reach for the Sky