The Sound Barrier (1952) artwork

The Sound Barrier (1952)

Sunday 3rd April 2016

The Sound Barrier, available on DVD and Blu-ray for the first time on 11th April 2016 from StudioCanal, is David Lean's 1952 powerful dramatic exploration of British attempts to achieve supersonic flight.
Ralph Richardson, Ann Todd, Nigel Patrick, Dinah Sheridan, John Justin
David Lean
David Lean
1 hour 52 minutes

The Sound Barrier, digitally remastered and available on DVD and Blu-ray for the first time on 11th April 2016 from StudioCanal, is David Lean's 1952 powerful dramatic exploration of British attempts to achieve supersonic flight, achieved great box office success on release but today remains one of his rarely seen films.

Thanks to a restoration by the BFI National Archive in partnership with StudioCanal, and to generous funding from the David Lean Foundation, this new Vintage Classics edition featuring brand new extras is released to mark the 25th Anniversary of David Lean's death for a new audience to discover.

The film tells the story of John Ridgefield (Ralph Richardson, Doctor Zhivago, The Heiress), the self-made wealthy owner of the Ridgefield Aircraft factory. The far-seeing aviation manufacturer is driven toward a significant breakthrough, envisioning a plane that can fly faster than the speed of sound. His obsession with perfection mirrors Lean's own, with the human cost of scientific progress sending Ridgefield close to madness and throwing his family into turmoil. Alongside Rattigan's script, the film was famed for the breath-taking aerial footage and Malcolm Arnold's terrific score.

At the heart of the film is the fascination of the era in which it was made with the thrill of aviation, an industry that had boomed throughout the war and held the world's attention. The connection to aviation history in The Sound Barrier has lead to being acclaimed by critics on release as 'semi-documentary' such was the celebrated attention to detail.

Lean obsessively researched media reports of jet engines attempting to approach supersonic speed, even going so far as to interview British aeronautic designers and managing to fly with test pilots. Eventually he turned over 300 pages of notes to acclaimed playwright Terrance Rattigan to turn into the screenplay for The Sound Barrier.

While the sound barrier was actually broken by USAF pilot Chuck Yeager, this fictional account Rattigan produced honours British engineering and determination of men like Frank Whittle, at the very forefront of jet engine development. Indeed, it was part inspired by the life and times of Geoffrey De Havilland; the designer and owner of De Havilland Aircraft Company, two of whose sons died testing their father's own experimental jet plane.

Rattigan's much praised script was lauded for examining the relationship between obsession and sacrifice, technological mastery and the costs of pursuing it at the cost of all else.

The Sound Barrier went on to be celebrated by awards academies on release - triumphing over The African Queen, Rashomon, Singin' In The Rain and A Streetcar Named Desire to win Best Film and Best British Film at the BAFTAs along with a Best Actor award for Ralph Richardson.

  • Interview with Terence Rattigan's official biographer Geoffrey Wansell
  • 10 minute excerpt from BFI interview with David Lean from 1959.

Please note - Disc special features are subject to change, may differ from format to format and/or may differ from region to region.

Based on Peter Turner's memoir, Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool, directed by Paul McGuigan and starring Annette Bening and Jamie Bell, is released on DVD and Blu-Ray 19th March 2018 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.Read more
Jumanji artwork



Experience this year's biggest and best family fun adventure starring some of Hollywood's most popular actors when Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle debuts 4K Ultra HD, 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray and ...
Requiem artwork



The Commuter artwork

The Commuter


 Killing Of A Sacred Deer artwork
Stronger artwork



Space Truckers artwork

Space Truckers


The Midnight Man artwork

The Midnight Man


Released on DVD 12th March 2018 from Signature Entertainment, horror legends Robert Englund and Lin Shaye costar in The Midnight Man.
Molly's Game artwork

Molly's Game


Insidious artwork



The Good Karma Hospital artwork
 Last House on the Left artwork
Ferdinand artwork



Vanity Fair


Growing up in London, Becky Sharp defies her poverty-stricken artist's daughter background and, thanks to the power of seduction, ascends the social ladder as the ultimate gold digger.

Chronicles of Riddick


Necromongers. If they cannot convert you, they will kill you. In normal times this evil would be fought by good. But in times like these, it should be fought by another kind of evil. And that evil is ...

The Commuter


Following the worldwide success of Unknown, Non-Stop and Run All Night, Liam Neeson and director Jaume Collet-Serra reunite for a fourth time with the explosive thriller The Commuter and one man' ...
"Find the ones who haven't given up. They are the future."
Tomorrowland (2015)

Murder On The Orient Express


The Shanghai Job


The Age Of Innocence


Attack On Titan


Broken City


Fast Girls


The Ghost


Escape Plan


Racing Stripes


Austin Powers


The Simpsons


Get a free daily news update. DVD365.net works with the Amazon Alexa flash briefing skill