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Review: David Lean's "The Sound Barrier" (1952) Starring Ralph Richardson; Blu-ray Special Edition

Review: David Lean's

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“A British Right Stuff”

By Raymond Benson

There exists a period in the career of the great David Lean in which several of his pictures are today more or less forgotten, especially in the U.S. After the one-two double punch of Brief Encounter and Great Expectations in the mid-40s, Lean directed several pictures that were less than stellar in terms of popularity and critical acclaim before he hit a spectacular stride with Hobson’s Choice, Summertime, and The Bridge on the River Kwai in the mid-50s.

Nestled neatly in this middle period is The Sound Barrier (titled Breaking the Sound Barrier in the U.S.), released in 1952. Despite doing very decent box office on both sides of the Atlantic, the film isn’t one that comes to mind when considering Lean’s genius.

It's the story of how the sound barrier

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