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The Speed of Passion: Close-Up on David Lean’s "Breaking the Sound Barrier"

Close-Up is a feature that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. David Lean's Breaking the Sound Barrier (1952) is playing October 14 - November 13, 2017 on Mubi in the United States.John (J.R.) Ridgefield is a man possessed. The wealthy and influential aircraft industrialist is consumed by his desire to manufacture a plane capable of penetrating the inscrutable sound barrier. This supersonic obsession is a blessing and a curse for the Ridgefield family, providing their ample fortune and triggering largely latent rifts in their ancestral relations. It’s an opposition at the heart and soul of David Lean’s 1952 film The Sound Barrier, a post-war endorsement of British ingenuity and determination, and an emotional, blazing depiction of sacrifice and scientific achievement. The opening of The Sound Barrier (also known as Sound Barrier and Breaking the Sound Barrier), spotlights Philip Peel (John Justin), one of the film’s principal test pilots. In just under two minutes,

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