In his third and final film with his erstwhile wife Ann Todd, Lean strove to chart the human cost of scientific progress; unfortunately, Terence Rattigan's script, while solidly structured, never probes beyond the basic conceit that an obsession which works towards the glory of mankind in general may wreak havoc on private lives. Certainly Richardson impresses as the De Havilland-like aircraft manufacturer whose passion brings suffering, even death, to his own family, while Nigel Patrick, as his test pilot son-in-law, is solid. But Todd herself typifies the awfully upper-crust restraint of the whole movie, and for all the intimate drama on view, it is the stirring aerial footage, accompanied by Malcolm Arnold's score, that remains most firmly fixed in the memory.
Cast and crew
Ralph Richardson Ann Todd Nigel Patrick Denholm Elliott Dinah Sheridan John Justin Joseph Tomelty