We loved this movie so much we went to visit the town of Rochefort. Stars from French and American cinema do wonderful work in the movie - Catherine Deneuve, Francoise Dorleac, Gene Kelly, George Chakiris, Danielle Darrieux, and Michel Piccoli. The version now available from Netflix is beautiful and has fine sound, but we noticed one song had been deleted that was in the version we saw 10 or 15 years ago. As for Rochefort, it's a nice place to visit, on the coast halfway between Bordeaux and Nantes. The remarkable "transbordeur" bridge shown in the opening and closing scenes has been restored for operation as a tourist feature.
I saw "The Sound Barrier" in 1952 and it had a great impact on this young moviegoer. The opening sequence on an abandoned air base and the theme music have stayed with me for 50 years. Apparently this film is not available in the USA at present, but I hope it will return to our shores. The technical side of the movie may be less relevant now, when men and women fly far beyond the speed of sound and far beyond the earth's atmosphere. But the story of the characters is what I remember best: the closeness of the small band of test pilots and their loved ones, how they are inspired by the promise of supersonic flight, and how they react when things go wrong.