All for One: Reach for the Sky (1956)

S. P. MacKenzie

in The Battle of Britain on Screen

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780748623891
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651276 | DOI:
All for One: Reach for the Sky (1956)

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Stories about World War II were among the most bankable subjects for film-makers in the 1950s, particular subjects becoming especially attractive if they had already achieved success in print. This was certainly the case with Reach for the Sky, the authorised biography of the legless air ace, Douglas Bader. Once developed into a feature film released in the summer of 1956, Reach for the Sky would show the Battle of Britain in a fashion superficially similar to, yet profoundly different from, the version on display in Angels One Five. Despite having lost both his legs in a pre-war flying accident, Bader had managed to force his way back into the air force when war came. By 1941, he had become one of the most publicly recognised of the Royal Air Force fighter aces. Shot down in the summer of 1941, Bader had made himself a constant headache for Germany as a prisoner of war before being liberated from Colditz Castle and given the task of leading the Battle of Britain Day fly-past over London on September 15, 1945.

Keywords: World War II; Reach for Sky; biography; Douglas Bader; Battle of Britain; Royal Air Force; Colditz Castle; Germany

Chapter.  5810 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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