Saw THE SOUND BARRIER today

That's a 1952 British movie about postwar test pilots working for visionary aircraft tycoon Ralph Richardson, which means they're stuck with the especially dangerous challenge of seeing if man can break the sound barrier. (Back then people weren't sure if it was survivable or even possible.) One pilot says about the job, "I don't have to [do it], but I must."  

It was directed by David Lean--his last black & white movie, I think, before he turned to big color epics--and written by playwright Terence Rattigan.  It's a pretty good exercise in middlebrow "stiff upper lip" Englishness.  The dialogue is very British, with lines like "There's a good chap" and "This awful business." The flight sequences are well-edited and exciting.

The last scene has this exchange:

[seeing a photograph of a barren surface] "What's that?"

"It's the moon."

"I never knew it could look so unfriendly."

"It's an unfriendly universe."


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