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The Sound Barrier (1952) [VHS]

Ralph Richardson , Ann Todd , David Lean    Universal, suitable for all   VHS Tape
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Ralph Richardson, Ann Todd, Nigel Patrick, John Justin, Dinah Sheridan
  • Directors: David Lean
  • Writers: Terence Rattigan
  • Producers: David Lean, Norman Spencer
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: 1 Oct 1999
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CK1T
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 197,330 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

David Lean directs this adaptation of the Terence Rattigan play. Ralph Richardson stars as an aircraft maunfacturer whose all-consuming passion with making the ultimate supersonic jet kills both his son and son-in-law and almost destroys him and the rest of his family. Also starring Lean's wife, Ann Todd.

From the Back Cover

From David Lean, director of Lawrence of Arabia and Dr. Zhivago, the exciting true-life story of the jet plane's early days and the committed man who risked all to test the danger levels.

Ralph Richardson is an aircraft manufacturer driven to design the first supersonic aeroplane even if his obsession to break the sound barrier costs him his humanity, the love of his family and the ultimate sacrifice - his son.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
David Lean's film follows one man's dream to build the first supersonic jet. Ralph Richardson is excellent as the obsessed aircraft designer who is willing to risk all,including his family, to achieve his goal. David Lean focuses on Richardson's powerfully destructive ego,keeping the film aloft with some intense flight scenes as the new jet is test-piloted. 'The Sound Barrier' is a great film about one man defying nature and public belief. It is a reminder of what can be achieved and that the laws of science are there to be broken. A must see for all David Lean fans!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage 50's aircraft 15 Mar 2009
Format:DVD
Vintage 50's aircraft - for aviation buffs only - this is a must, to see classic footage of vintage Supermarine and DH jets.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sound Barrier 17 Feb 2009
Format:DVD
I was given a mission from my dad to find this on dvd as he hadn't seen the film since he was a kid. Needless to say it turned out to be the best xmas present ever (as you know dads are notoriously difficult to buy for). Quality was perfect and it brought back a lot of memories for him. He would definitley recommend for others born around the 1940's with an interest in aeroplanes.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Breaking the sound "quality" barrier. 7 Mar 2010
Format:DVD
I have given this product 3 stars only because although the film itself is top notch with a wonderful story brilliantly acted by a strong cast and plenty of aviation action, the sound on this particular transfer is quite appalling. Studio Canal seem to have a problem with audio when they (so called) "remaster" these older films and one is left wishing that they had left well alone. There is a constant "pulsing" on the soundtrack, most evident when the background music is playing long sustained notes, which is extremely intrusive and distracting. It starts on the chimes of Big Ben at the "London Films" ident logo and continues throughout the whole film.

This is one of two recent purchases of Studio Canal DVDs (the other being "Hobson's Choice") which have this same audio defect. I have an old VHS recording of this film and the sound is far superior than this DVD; it being an older, non-digital version.

If you can find this film released by any other company than "Studio Canal" then go for it but as for this particular version, leave well alone. I will definitely not be buying any more DVDs made by Studio Canal.

Amazon are in no way at fault here; they delivered the product quickly and well packaged, as always. My only gripe is with Studio Canal and their very poor sound processing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It soars in the air, less so on the ground 18 Mar 2012
By The CinemaScope Cat TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The owner (Ralph Richardson) of an aircraft company is determined to break the sound barrier. To this end, despite the trepidation from his daughter (Ann Todd), he recruits his son in law (Nigel Patrick) as a test pilot for his program in spite of the dangers. Thirty years before THE RIGHT STUFF, David Lean directed this fictionalized story from a screenplay by Terence Rattigan (SEPARATE TABLES) which was both a critical and popular hit in its day. While Oscar winner Jack Hildyard's (BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI) aerial footage is spectacular, the narrative itself is a rather hoary piece with the daredevil pilot heroics and the waiting wives. What the film does convey very well is the excitement that those pilots and aircraft engineers must have felt during the transition from propeller planes to the jet travel. Richardson's tightly wound performance was greatly admired when the film came out, he won the New York Film Critics award for best actor. But today, the technical inaccuracies (not to mention that Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in 1947) preclude the film from being anything more than a curio and it's probably one of Lean's least seen films. The underscore is by Malcolm Arnold. With John Justin (THIEF OF BAGDAD), Denholm Elliott and Dinah Sheridan.

The Optimum DVD via Great Britian is a pristine transfer in its appropriate 1.33 aspect ratio.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breaking the Sound Barrier 12 Nov 2010
Format:DVD
Long before "The Right Stuff" the British did their own take on breaking the sound barrier in this film released in 1952. As it WAS made in 1952, five years after Chuck Yeager actually did break the barrier in real life, "The Sound Barrier" is pure fiction and technologically plain wrong in it's plot device that posits that at the barrier the controls of an aeroplane are reversed. Of course, they are NOT. But it makes for a good movie and if you are a fan of early British jet aircraft there are plenty to see in this film - the Comet, Vampire, Attacker, and Swift all make guest appearances.

So, if you suspend belief over the technical issues it is still an entertaining film and well worth getting. The big bonus is that it is a RESTORED copy - excellent quality film AND the sound must have been remastered too because all the voices and music were crisp and clean.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars David LEAN a great director 13 Mar 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Although not being one of his most famous masterpieces,"The Sound Barrier" still has that special "David Lean touch" that cannot be mistaken, even 60 years later. It doesn't matter if you are not the least interested in aviation and jets, the film is never dated or boring, with strong characters, and wonderful actors behind ( amazing Ralph RICHARDSON !)
And for whose who like planes of the fifties ( like me !) it's delightful to watch VAMPIRES, COMETS and SWIFTS in a feature film, they are the real stars indeed...If you add a good score by Malcolm ARNOLD, and a beautiful photography by Jack HILDYARD (in crisp black and white ),you get...no deception !
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent film, with good acting and great footage of old jets.
Published 2 months ago by Blue Mercury
5.0 out of 5 stars THE SOUND BARRIER DVD
Excellent film and I would recommend others to purchase as it shows how the UK finally broke the sound barrier !
Published 3 months ago by RICHARD JOHN DOLAN
5.0 out of 5 stars great service, classic movie
the film was bought as a Christmas present for my father and he loved it. a great story excellently acted and directed.
Published 9 months ago by barry stone
5.0 out of 5 stars sound barrier
Excellant buy it! I love this movie, this for Aviation Buffs, original footage I think from Dehavilland Aircraft, Great Actors.
Published 11 months ago by Maurice J. Brett
5.0 out of 5 stars Know thy father
The DVD version of "Breaking the sound barrier" 1952, a David Lean production, that I watched is disk one of "The World War Collection" May 27, 2008; this is funny as it has... Read more
Published 15 months ago by bernie
4.0 out of 5 stars dvd
got this as a present, was worried a little that it wouldn't arrive on time but all was good.
No problems with dvd very happy overall
Published 16 months ago by Pauline Arbon
5.0 out of 5 stars David Lean's forgotten masterpiece
Great film with a mesmeric performance by Ralf Richardson - much more than the telling of the attempt to break the sound barrier - however the solution in terms of aircraft... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Dr. Thomas Butler
4.0 out of 5 stars A pretty decent B movie.
This is not a bad little British B movie from the early 50s. The story-line stacks up and there is some good footage of old jets. Read more
Published on 4 Mar 2012 by Ken D
1.0 out of 5 stars unfit for purpose
This was a film I remembered from the1950's and was looking forward to viewing it again. Unfortunately the sound and picture quality was so bad I had to return it to Amazon and... Read more
Published on 9 Mar 2011 by R. Burgess
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite films of all time
Sound Barrier remains one of my favourite films. I first saw it as a 10 year old in 1952 and found it just as exciting seeing it once more a few weeks ago. Read more
Published on 5 Mar 2011 by Harrington66
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