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The Way To The Stars [1945] [DVD]

Michael Redgrave , John Mills , Anthony Asquith    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
Price: 8.69 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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The Way To The Stars [1945] [DVD] + Angels One Five [DVD] [1952] + Appointment In London [1952]
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Product details

  • Actors: Michael Redgrave, John Mills, Rosamund John, Douglas Montgomery, Renee Asherson
  • Directors: Anthony Asquith
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 20 Aug 2007
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000RF9Z7C
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,528 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

At the outset of the Second World War the deserted airfield of Halfpenny Field becomes a bustling bomber command centre. Peter Penrose (John Mills) is placed under the command of Squadron Leader Flight Lieutenant David Archdale (Michael Redgrave), and the two become great friends. When the Americans join the allies in 1942, several of their number are stationed at the base, and the arrival of US pilot Johnny (Douglas Montgomery) complicates the established British friendships.

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Mono ), SPECIAL FEATURES: Interactive Menu, Photo Gallery, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: Originally released in England as The Way to the Stars, Johnny in the Clouds is the story of how the Battle of Britain affected the lives of combatants and civilians alike. Terence Rattigan's screenplay concentrates on three groups of people: an American pilot and his wife, a doomed British officer with a wife and child, and a young couple who plan to marry despite the precariousness of wartime romances. Most of the action takes place at an air base and the neighboring village, where the private citizens react to rationing and other restrictions with various degrees of nobility and selfishness. The American title of this film is derived from the poem "Johnny in the Clouds," recited in tribute to the decease British airman; the U.S. version, which was released after the war, includes a prologue set in the deserted air base, with the bulk of the film offered as a flashback. ...The Way to the Stars ( Johnny in the Clouds )

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
55 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where Phantoms Brood and Mourn. 15 Jun 2009
In the County of Wiltshire where I live, there are a number of abandoned old World War two airfields. They are mostly overgrown now. Sometimes you may still find a rusty old nissan hut or a small crumbling stretch of exposed runway. They stand as mute testament to a time when our very shores were threatened by Nazi Germany and we were exposed to the depredations of the Luftwafe. Young men flew into battle from these airfields to protect our freedom. Many never returned. This film is all about them.

The title of the film "The Way to the Stars" is taken from the Latin motto of the RAF. The film was directed by Anthony Asquith and the screenplay was partly written by the great playwright Terence Rattigan, who was well qualified as he served as a Flight Lieutenant in the RAF during the war. It is largely based on his own experiences during that conflict. The film boasts a wonderful cast of great British actors.

The film is set largely around the fictional RAF station of Halfpenny field and the nearby village of Shepley. It is set between 1940 and 1944. John Mills plays a new young Pilot Officer just arrived at the base. He is greeted by a Flight Lieutenant played by Michael Redgrave. The more experienced Redgrave shows the inexperienced Mills the ropes. He is a quick learner and soon becomes the much respected pilot of a Bristol Blenheim. We then watch the characters lives unfold around the air base and the village. We see their loves and the human tragedy when some fail to return from their dangerous missions. We later see the Americans in their Flying Fortresses enter the fray in their ebullient and colourful manner.

Although there is very little in this film to excite the viewer who wants to see lots of action, this in no way lessens the strong impact of the film.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic British wartime drama 2 July 2008
A very good example of the genre. Great characters and I particularly liked the interaction between the British and the Americans.
However I was a bit disapointed with the quality of the DVD, the sound was good but the pictures were almost smudgy in appearance.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic 13 Aug 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
One of the Classic British war Films of all time with some of Britains Classic actors John Mills, Michael Redgrave, Risamund John, Stanley Holloway and 'introducing' Trevor Howard. Written by Terrence Rattigan with the music adapted from 'The Cornish Rhapsody'. Also starring are Mark 1 Bristol Blenheims, Douglas Bostons and B.17 Flying Fortresses. It is a pity that the film is projected backwards in the B.17 shots!

The Story is of a young pilot new to operations in 1940. His Commanding Officer is shot down and his Mentor becomes his best friend and introduces him to life in the pub of the local village. From then on we follow their lives through happiness and tragedy as the war progresses and Americans take over the airfield.
Along the way a poem gets written @For Johnny' which to me sums up the whole reason why we should not forget the sacrifices of all of those who have died in the service of our country.

Well worth buying for those who like a bit of romance and action, though there is little of the latter seen on screen.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By J. Lovins TOP 1000 REVIEWER
VCI Entertainment and Two Cities Films presents "THE WAY TO THE STARS" (aka: Johnny In The Clouds) (1945) (109 min/B&W) -- Starring Michael Redgrave, John Mills, Rosamund John, Douglass Montgomery, Renée Asherson, Stanley Holloway, Basil Radford,Felix Aylmer, Bonar Colleano, Joyce Carey & Trevor Howard

Directed by Anthony Asquith

Another winner from the British Invasion released by VCI. The film catches the sustained mood of hope and fear, punctuated by moments of terror, hilarity, panic and relief. But these are moments. The unique thing in The Way to the Stars is the sense that everyday life had to be preserved by continuing to live it.

Riveting and heroic, tragic and brave, understated, strong - very character driven. It has no battle scenes- we see only the effect of battle on the intertwined lives present on an RAF WWII air base.

There is an ensemble of emotions, but the theme concentrates on stiff upper lip stoicism as bomber aircrew are faced with terrible odds of survival, and friends and loved ones make the best of the situation.

Outstanding is Douglass Montgomery in a strong supporting performance as Johnny Hollis, from whose character the alternate title "Johnny In The Clouds" is derived. It is his best work and he is incredibly good- he should have netted an British or Oscar nomination for his performance here. He has over twenty scenes and is unforgettable in all of them.

Look for actress Jean Simmons as the singer in the Big Band at the dance celebration.

Special footnote: -- The film was obviously made as a morale booster at the end of the war in Europe and features an outstanding poem that serves as an epitaph to airmen killed in action.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A splendid film 11 Mar 2011
This is a splendid film. Many of the best British actors of the day who had long careers in the industry gave superb performances. They were aided by a brilliant Terence Rattigan script which gave them wonderful words to say. Directed by Anthony Asquith aided by a team of the best technicians of the time. All in all, I cannot fault it. Very moving, many stranded, who shall I pick out for a brilliant performance? Rosamund John I think. She was feminine courageous dignified and utterly charming. No wonder so many of the airmen chose her as their friend.
How good was British cinema in those days!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a very powerful and moving film with a great cast, and I believe...
Another old friend - I first saw this in the autumn of 1945. It's a very powerful and moving film with a great cast, and I believe the first appearance on film of Jean Simmons,... Read more
Published 28 days ago by William Tell
5.0 out of 5 stars review
personal interest in this film well made and i am glad that it has been converted to dvd so can still watch it
Published 4 months ago by hope
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
One of the war time greats which deals the the war on the ground rather than taking to the air. The John Pudney poems are still moving today. A perennial.
Published 4 months ago by Bookworm
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't beat a good war film.
I remember seeing this on tv when I was younger. I always enjoy a good war film and as long as you accept the limitations of when these and others were made, they a good quality... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Richard S Burne
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good story.
I thorougly enjoyd it. Michael Redgrave was a superb actor.For fiction it was very realistic and a very good story.
Published 8 months ago by KABUKI
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant juxtaposition of issues and characters
Brilliant mix of military and civilian and family and personal issues. And Anglo-Amedrican relations. Last British WW2 film and first film of the peace is one account I read. Read more
Published 11 months ago by FG
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Film
Good film of the era, only loosely related to Flare Path by Terrence Rattigan. Made a change to the usual thing on movie night.
Published 12 months ago by David Ody
4.0 out of 5 stars per ardua ad astra
The title is obviously taken from the Latin motto of the RAF. This is an excellent movie about relationships in World War 2 when an airman's life could go out like a candle. Read more
Published 15 months ago by lycidas
5.0 out of 5 stars Star movie.
This has always been one of my favourite movies. Terrance Rattigan has a way of structuring a story that keeps you held until the very end. Read more
Published 16 months ago by John Routledge
5.0 out of 5 stars The Way to the Stars - DVD
This is a great old movie, very much enjoyed seeing it again. Excellent service and prompt delivery. Can't fault this purchase or the way it was handled.
Published 17 months ago by SuGu27
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