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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Inspirational Classic
The story of Douglas Bader is a well known one. He crashed a Bristol Bulldog doing low level aerobatics and lost both legs. He overcame this disability and flew for the RAF in the battle of britain - with great success.

This classic film tells Bader's tale. Kenneth More portrays Bader as a really nice guy, which is not really what the real Bader was like, but...
Published on 29 April 2006 by L. C. Raubenheimer

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the full length original
A very good film, largely as I remember it; but very disappointed to find that two small, but important, scenes had been cut. (Bader crashing the spitfire on take-off and the leg being parachuted into France).
Published 23 months ago by Mr M J HAMMER


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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Inspirational Classic, 29 April 2006
This review is from: Reach For The Sky [DVD] (DVD)
The story of Douglas Bader is a well known one. He crashed a Bristol Bulldog doing low level aerobatics and lost both legs. He overcame this disability and flew for the RAF in the battle of britain - with great success.

This classic film tells Bader's tale. Kenneth More portrays Bader as a really nice guy, which is not really what the real Bader was like, but some artistic licence is forgivable in film. His relationship with Thelma is well depicted, as are the aerial combat scenes. One of the advantages of Black and White films is the ability to use actual WW11 combat footage. It certainly looks better than when special effects are used. All the flying scenes are great, except that the spitfires used are late marks, with the 'bubble' canopy. This is an annoying thing for air buffs like myself, but in this case we can forgive it, since the all round quality of the picture makes up for it.

I consider Bader's tale one of the most inspiring in history, and it is a story that will live on thanks to this film.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good adaption of book, 16 May 2005
By 
Graeme J. W. Smith "graemejwsmith" (Newport, RI United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Reach For The Sky [DVD] (DVD)
A very faithful adaption of the book by Paul Brickhill conveying Douglas Bader's spirit and determination in the face of adversity. In an era when anti-biotics and modern intensive care treatment simply didn't exist - the loss of both legs after a flying accident mean't once the surgeon had done his best - it was up to you - with the help of some supportive nursing - to survive - or not. Bader nearly did not.
The later part of the movie includes some "good for the period" special effects of the Battle of Britian using a mix of real footage, model shots and actual combat footage. If you want to see Nicholson VC's actual footage of the wingless and tailess Dornier crashing onto Victoria Station after he rammed it in 1940 - it is included. Purists will spot the odd Spitfire being shot down by another Spitfire. Made with the co-operation of the RAF the Hurricanes were presumably dug out of mothballs as they had not flown in over 10 years when the movie was made. The Spitfires are post-war marks - presumably as they were easily available and jar the eye when flown in "1940". However if you don't care about this sort of nit-pick - it certainly doesn't detract from the movie.
The film also perpetuates and explains Bader's "Big Wing" tactic and his selling of it to Leigh-Mallory - commander of 12 Group. Post war analysis showed that the tactic was deeply flawed and led to overclaims and made the wings themselves subject to succesful attacks by the German defending forces through 1941. Indeed Bader is shot down during one of his own sweeps over France in 1941 - and his plane's end follows the view of the witnesses rather than his own rememberance of the event.
In the genre of 1950's war movies - this one stands above the crowd for its portrayal of Bader and is worth a look.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Douglas Bader - What a legend, 27 April 2008
By 
Tangerine "tangerineman" (North Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Reach For The Sky [DVD] (DVD)
I am going to assume most of you interested in this DVD know the story of Douglas Bader the legendary WWII fighter pilot who lost his legs, nearly died and still flew fighter planes, learnt to walk and drive again a man who simply didn't understand how to fail. An inspiration this film depicts the story of Bader and his life until the end of the war. This is a great film and one I thoroughly enjoy everytime I watch it.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truely Inspriring..., 19 Jun 2001
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This review is from: Reach For The Sky [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Kenneth More portrays the life of Duglas Bader from the time he first joined the R.A.F through until the end of World War Two. This film is truely inspiring, and despite its age, is an amazing story of utter determination and ture courrage. With great flying footage, surpurb music, and a brilliant story... Reach For The Sky is one of my all time favourites.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thrilling and thoughtful story of Courage ., 9 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Reach For The Sky [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I feel more than lucky to be the American Son, of an English Mother, who was in Southampton during the Battle of Britain. She told me of Men like Douglas Bader, and when she took me to see Reach for the Skies, the movie peeked my interest in the R.A.F, and ITS glorious history. REACH FOR THE SKIES, as far as I am concerned should be watched by every British young person, so that they can fully understand a Man's love for his country during a desparate fight against odds.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling inspirational courage, 15 Jun 2007
By 
M. Davies (Bramcote, Warks) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Reach For The Sky [DVD] (DVD)
The story of Wing Commander Douglas Bader. After joining the RAF in the late 1920s, Bader badly injured himself in an air crash, losing both legs. He left the air force and seemed condemned to a life of boring 'civviedom' trapped in an office. The outbreak of World War 2 however gave him another opportunity to fly and he rejoined the RAF as a fighter pilot. He flew throughout the Battle of Britain before eventually being shotdown during the 'Rhubarb' flights over occupied France. Even in captivity he continued to campaign against the Germans, attempting to escape numerous times before being transferred to the infamous Colditz prison camp for serial escapers.

This film, like all war films of the immediate post war period, gains greatly by being able to use actual footage from the war interspersed with the actors. A stunning film portraying a true British hero.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More at his best, 27 Nov 2008
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This review is from: Reach For The Sky [DVD] (DVD)
Kenneth More at his best - what a superb performance from a superb actor.

More stars as Douglas Bader the fighter pilot from the war era who after an accident loses both his legs. His sheer determination wins him his wings back and the respect of his men, many who are years younger than himself. His subsequent imprisonment on foriegn shores and his escapes, determine Bader as one of the greatest heroes of WWII.

A great feast for the eyes with some spectacular ariel shots.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My Picture Memory, 23 Oct 2009
By 
Massimo Santilli "kinowelt" (La Spezia - Liguria Italy) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Reach For The Sky [DVD] (DVD)
I remeber I saw the film in Italy named Bader il Pilota "Bader the aircraft man" when I was young. Kenneth More portrays the life of Duglas Bader from the time he joined the R.A.F through until the end of World War 2. This film is truely inspiring, and despite its age, is an amazing story of utter determination and ture courrage.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the full length original, 13 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Reach For The Sky [DVD] (DVD)
A very good film, largely as I remember it; but very disappointed to find that two small, but important, scenes had been cut. (Bader crashing the spitfire on take-off and the leg being parachuted into France).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Film v Book, 6 Jun 2011
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This review is from: Reach For The Sky [DVD] (DVD)
I have watched this film a few times over the years during my childhood, but I recently bought and read Paul Brickhill's book "Reach for the Sky", of which this film is based and was my reason for wanting to see it again and own it.

At the beginning of the film, it states that some persons or plot lines may be altered for dramatic effect and not be wholly accurate. However, it was difficult to see where they had not kept to the actual reality of events and plot lines and was so refreshing to see that the film is actually so close to the book, having nearly all dialogues in the book, repeated in the film word for word, by those that are purported to have said them. This I (and am sure most) believe is how films of a historic nature should be, otherwise they are no more than a story or could even in some extreme cases be construed as propaganda!

I have been very disappointed with major changes in the TV series "Band of Brothers" and "The Pacific" where not only have things been changed for dramatisation, acts of bravery carried out by others have been attributed to the wrong persons in the series of films.... the worse being two scenes where they have John Basilone (who won the Medal of Honour) acting out two moments of valour, of which you are lead to believe are why he won the Medal of Hour, only to read the book and to find out two other people did these acts and did not survive the war!

I guess us Brits tend to keep it accurate, to preserve the memories of those accountable for moments of bravery, not like the Hollywood version of the capturing of the Enigma machine in that awfully inaccurate film "U-571"

If a film is about any type of historic value, let it be told correctly and accurately, so that we and future generations can understand the past and know how history is made and by whom!

In summing up, if you have an interest in this type of history or want to be marvelled at how a person can overcome great odds, then watch this film, no matter your age, you will not believe it, unless you read the book and find out for yourself that it happened. This film tells Bader's story from just before the accident to the end of the war... as you would expect, the book goes into much detail and starts from his birth until and to his post war career, it is a fantastic read and can thoroughly recommend it, I couldn't put it down and nearly missed a nights sleep because of it.
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