The Sound Barrier (1952) Script

(Bells chime)

(Gulls squawking)

(♪ Distant harmonica playing)

(Aeroplane overhead)

(♪ MALCOLM ARNOLD: "The Sound Barrier")

(Music over dialogue)

(Engine noise over dialogue)


(Buffeting fades)

(Chatting and laughter)


♪ I've got a little cat and I'm very fond of that

♪ But I'd rather have a bow wow, wow, wow, wow ♪ Well, do you like it?

What? Well, the parting, you clot.

What's the matter with it? Well, it's on the other side.


I dunno. I thought it gave me a sort of intellectual look.

It conceals the incipient baldness. I thought Sue was on leave.

Well, she's due back this evening.

Hello, it looks like you've been jumped on by 20-plus Focke-Wulfs.

I tried to pull out of a flat-out dive just now.

Oh, good show.

The damn stick needed Carnera to move it.

The harder I pulled, the more the nose went down.

It felt for a moment as if the controls were reversed.

And were they?

Of course not, you clot, or I wouldn't be here, would I?

There was a lot of buffeting too.

It was almost as if I'd suddenly run into a... a solid sheet of water, or something.


Why don't you marry her?

You know, all prospective father-in-laws are a bit frightening.

After all, mine was. Yours wasn't the great John Ridgefield.

What, just because he makes a few aeroplanes?

A few aeroplanes? He owns a hundred ruddy acres of factory, he's a millionaire twice over and Sue's his only daughter.

Anyway, heiress or not, I'm meeting her train, I shall take her for a quiet little drive and ask her to marry me simply, firmly and directly.

What's the matter?

Oh, I don't know, I just thought it was a good place to stop for a breather.

Oh, how nice.

Sue, what do you think of me?

As a driver? Er, no. As a man.

Oh. Well, I... I told you, I...

I think I prefer you with your hair parted on the other side.

Sue, I... Yes?

Sue... Yes, Tony?

(Car approaches with men singing)

(Men cheering and whistling)

(Engine spluttering)

♪ You'll get no promotion this side of the ocean

♪ So cheer up my lads, Bless 'em all

♪ Bless 'em all, Bless 'em all... ♪

Tony, I've got my answer ready. In fact, I've had it ready for an awful long time.

Oh, gosh.

Is that all you can say, Tony? Just, "Oh, gosh"?

You really have looked at this from every angle?

I haven't left an angle out, I promise you.

I mean, you know the sort of chap I am. I know the sort of chap you are.

Not on your level at all. Miles above.

Oh, gosh.

Please, Tony, stop saying "Oh, gosh". Can't you think of anything else to say?

I love you so very much.

(All laugh)

I shan't be a tick. It's time this came off.

Give it to me, I'll keep it as a souvenir. Ha-ha.

Mrs Garthwaite.

Mrs Garthwaite. Mrs Garthwaite? Mrs Garthwaite.

I suppose if I say it often enough, I shall get used to it.

Hello, Eddie. Tony, you old basket.

Got anything going to Ridgefields? Sure, we're bound to have.

Good. Why Ridgefields, though?

Because I went and married a Ridgefield. You don't say?

I'm on my way now to get the once-over from her old man.

Well, I'll have to treat you with respect from now on.

Oh, congratulations. Thanks.

You're welcome.

An Anson here, take-off 14:30. Fine.

Sign here.

(Both chuckle)

There you are, darling, Ridgefields.

And it's all your father's? Mm-hm.

We're landing.

Hi. Susie!


Your father? No, Will Sparks, our chief designer.

Oh, Will!

I saw you from the office windows. Susie, darling!

How are you? Very well, thank you, Will.

What have you done to yourself? You're thinner.

Oh, I've gone on the wagon. Will, why?

With all these Americans about these days, you just can't get it.

I hate beer! Though I'll be off it tonight in your honour.

So this is the gent. This is the gent.

How are you? I've heard a lot about you. I've heard a lot about you.

I'm glad you had the sense to pick a flyer.

For a moment I thought you were my father-in-law.

Well, glad to meet you and welcome to Ridgefields.

Thank you.

Oh, your dad's at a board meeting.

I was asked to tell you he won't see you before dinner.

Are you coming to dinner? No, I haven't been asked.

Oh. I suppose he wants to keep it family.

But you are family, Will.

Of course, I'm coming to the do tonight. Oh, dear, is there a do?

Slap-up, champagne, the whole board of directors.

How are you, Mason? Very well, thank you, Miss Susan.

I'll come as far as the office block.

(Car horn honking)

I wish I worked union hours.

How many people work here? 12,000.

12,000? Yes, we've got another 8,000 at Hillbank.

(Engine revving up)

What's that? Top-secret, sir.

(Intense engine thrust)

Those are test-beds, aren't they?

Is this top-secret going to win the war, Will?

A good deal more than win the war, if you ask me.

Hello, Factor, how are you? Very well, thank you, madam.

This is my husband. Welcome, sir.

He called me madam. I realise now I've been "Miss" for far too long.

I simply love being madam.

However hideous your threshold, do you know what my duty is?

No, what? I'll show you.

Tony, no! Hang on to your hat.

This could be quite a drop. Tony!

(Susan laughs)

Tony, drop me. You're not strong enough.

Not strong enough? No, you're not.

Which way? This way, sir.

Right, here we go. This way.

(Susan giggles)

Take my cap off.

This way, sir.





How are you, darling? Hello, Sue.

Meet your new brother-in-law. How do you do?

I've heard a lot about you. Too late to say congratulations?

Not at all. Congratulations.

Oh, Chris, what is that? You ought to know. It's the RAF badge.

You get it when you pass the interview. Oh, I had no idea.

I thought you were going into the navy.

I've changed my mind. Did you get my present?

Oh, darling, thank you so much. It was a lovely present.

We adored it, didn't we? Oh, yes, rather. We adored it.

Good. Er, let's have a drink.

What was it? Paperweight.

When are you going in? About six months, I think.

In the meanwhile, I'm learning to fly.

Dad's put one of his ex-pilots on to teaching me over at Hillbank.

Tiger Moth.

Darling, how exciting. Have you gone solo yet?

Not yet. I think I may tomorrow.

Whisky? No, thank you, darling.

Not for me, thanks. No, it's too early.

Since when have you taken to swigging whisky?

I'm not at school now, Sue, I'm in the RAF.

Well, practically, anyway.

Cheers. Cheers. Good luck tomorrow.

Thank you. How many hours dual have you done?

Rather a lot, 14.

That's not too bad. I remember a fellow who did 20 before they passed him.

I don't suppose his name was Ridgefield, though.

How many hours dual did you do before you went solo?

Tony's an exceptional case. One of the great geniuses of the air.

Ah, like Dad.

He went solo after only two-and-a-half hours dual.


Would you like to know something rather shocking? I get airsick.

You shouldn't worry, you'll soon get over that.

Yes? Yes.


What the heck is that? Dressing gong.

Chris, give me a quarter of an hour for my bath, and then come up and talk to me, will you?

I won't be a second. Mm-hm.

Approve? Terrific.

He's just been telling me about that do on the Gestapo prison.

You must have used a thumbscrew to get that out of him.

I had to, practically. It was a wonderful thing, Sue.

They had to come in at 50 feet and fly slap down the main street.

But of course you'll know it all.

I'll be able to shoot a line about my new brother-in-law now.

Looks as if I'll need one.

You're a bit unhappy about it all, aren't you, darling?

Oh, no. Not really.

Why don't you reapply for a ground job?

What would Dad say if I did that? Well, does it matter?

You know it does.

Anyway, I don't want to let him down, Sue. Heaven knows I don't.

Chris. Hm?

Would you let me talk to him?

No, thanks awfully, Sue. If anyone's got to talk to him, I've got to.

As a matter of fact, I half thought I might tackle him about it tonight.

Not about a ground job, I mean RAF ground job.

But, well, commandos or something. Commandos?

Well, I've jolly well got to show him it isn't a matter of guts.

Look, you're either born to fly or you're not. I'm not, I'm really not.

Darling, you go downstairs and give yourself another whisky, then take him aside and tell him exactly how you feel.

It's going to be jolly difficult. Well, I'll be there behind you.

Darling. I'd almost forgotten. Come on, you two.

Here's to you both.

To us. To us.

(J. R.) You can tell them that from me. Father.

(Man) I don't like it, J. R. We may find the Ministry will never agree to it at all.

(J. R.) There's a simple answer. We stop production on the 696 altogether.

Nervous? Nervous? I'm scared stiff.

I haven't a second. Good night. (Man) Good night, J. R.

Hello, Father. Hello, Susan.

This is Tony. So, this is Tony.

The DFC and Bar I know about. What's the AFC for?

Oh, just for bumbling around.

They don't usually give that for bumbling around.

Well, I'm very glad to meet you at last, Tony.

I must say, I'm surprised at Susan falling for a flyer.

Christopher, lad, I've just had Fletcher on the phone.

He says he hopes you may go solo tomorrow.

Yes, Dad, I know. Well done.

Who knows, we may make a pilot of you yet.

What time is it to be? At 10:30.

Well, let's go in.

You sit here, will you, Tony? Place of honour.

Quite a room, eh? Yes, quite a room.

I hope you like the pictures. There's some of them quite well known.

Of course, Susan hates them all, I know that.

Yes, I sent her to Oxford to get an education, and all she comes back with is a passion for donkey-tailed daubs and modernistic music.

Where she gets her tastes from, I don't know.

Certainly not from me or her mother. Mother liked modern music very much.

First I've heard of it. If she did, she didn't let on to me.

No. This is lobster Dominique.

A sort of speciality de la maison.

No, not for Mr Christopher. He's flying tomorrow.

Fletcher says young Jackson's gone solo after six hours.

Yes, he's rather good.

Is this fellow running a sort of flying kindergarten over there, sir?

No, just the two boys. Jackson, that's my head of airframes, his son's waiting to go into the RAF too, so I've let Fletcher take him on as well.

Won't do them any harm to get a start, eh, Tony?

No, you'll probably shatter your RAF instructor by going solo in about 20 minutes.

That's right, something like that won't look so bad on the record.

14 hours wouldn't have been so good.

(Distant jet engine thrust)

That's the same noise we heard this afternoon.

It comes from the test-beds, doesn't it? Yes, I heard you were asking questions.

Well, I tell you what. I'm giving this party down at the works, and on our way - well, you're a member of the family now -

I don't suppose it'll do any harm for you to have a look at our little secret.

(Thrust continues)

I think it's the most exciting sound I've ever heard.

It isn't only the sound that's exciting, Tony boy.

Evening, Joe. Good evening, J. R.

How's the missus? She's all right. That stuffs done her good.

Told you it would. Good evening, Mike. Good evening, J. R.

Hm. Put up the lights.

What the heck is it, sir? It's the aircraft engine of the future.

Where's the propeller? There is no propeller.

How does it keep the aircraft in the air, then?

By propulsion. Propulsion?

Yes. Jet propulsion. Come on, I'll show you.

You two had better stay there.

By the way, don't call me sir. What do I call you?

Susan calls me Father, Chris calls me Dad. You can take your choice.

Now, this is something quite extraordinary.

Like all great inventions, from the wheel to radar, perfectly simple.

Yes, you can smile, I know it looks complicated, but the beauty is how little there is to it and how much power comes out of it.

Now, there's a fan here in the front which draws in air.

The air's heated here with paraffin. Paraffin?

Ordinary paraffin. Hot air blows out here at the end.

It comes out at such terrific force that that alone drives the aircraft.

Who invented it? One of your men? No, a chap called Whittle.

Whittle? Englishman? Yes.

We aren't the only firm working on them. De Havilland and Rolls are ahead of us.

(Klaxon blares)

(Engine warms up)

(Thrust intensifies)

Excuse me.

(Engine turns off)

Well, Susie, how do you like our new toy?

What did you think of it, Chris lad? Wizard, wasn't it?

Wizard, Dad. Come on, we'll be late for the party.

Come on, now.

Come on.

Good night, Joe. Good night, J. R.

I'm getting out now. Are you ready for the joyride?


Sure you wouldn't like to have another circuit with me?

No, thanks.

You'd rather not have me bawling in your ear, eh, I suppose?

Are we in time, Chris? Bang on.

Thanks for coming. Is that your rival?

Yes. Good approach.

Good morning, Fletcher. Morning.

Have some food with us afterwards. Thanks, I'd love to.

All set? There's nothing to it.

All the best, darling.

By the way, Ridgefield, just for once you can make any sort of landing you like.

I'm going to have a drink. Only try to get her down in one piece, there's a good chap.

(Engine purrs)

A very bad turn.

Hm, better.

Hasn't he learned anything at all?

He'll be all right. You can't get hurt from those things.

(Alarm wailing)


Chris! Sue! Sue, stay here!

(Man) Quickly!

(♪ MALCOLM ARNOLD: "The Sound Barrier")

(Music over dialogue)

What about that?

Why, it's fantastic.

It's the future 901? That's it.

What's her landing speed? It's high at the moment, but we're working on that.

Well, I have to go to the works at 1:00 so I shan't be back before your train goes, so I'll say goodbye now.

Goodbye, Tony, it's nice to have you in the family. Especially now.

Thanks, it's nice being in the family.

Come and see me again soon. I will.

You... You know how I feel about this awful business.

Mm. I had Fletcher on the phone today, he says it need never have caught fire at all if he hadn't forgotten to switch off.

Heaven knows he had plenty of time. Here, I'm awfully sorry.

What are your plans for after the war? Plans?

I only ask because if you've nothing definite in mind, I'd like you to know there's always a job at Ridgefields for you.

Well, what sort of a job? (He chuckles)

You mean... test pilot? Well, that's the thing I had in mind.

Well, don't say anything now. Think it over. You've plenty of time.

Well, goodbye, Sue. Goodbye, Father.

Write to me and let me know.

Would you like a drink, darling? No, thank you.

(Aeroplane overhead)

(Tony) 'Ridgefield Tower, this is Glassjar 1 -0.

'I've just crossed the coast at Seaford Head, descending through cloud.

'Approaching the airfield.'

Roger, 1 -0.

(Intense engine thrust)

(Tony) 'Climbing through clouds, full throttle, ASI 320.'

(Tony) 'Will, she's a beauty.'

Roger, 1 -0.

30,000. Levelling out.

Auto-observer on.

'I'm starting dive now. If I get any buffeting, I'll throttle back.

'Here we go. This is it.







Mach 0.7.

'I'm getting buffeting now!

'Air brakes open, throttling back!

'OK. Coming down to land now.'

Ridgefield Tower to 1 -0. Clear to join circuit and land.

Runway 3-0.

(Controller) 'Call downwind.' (Tony) 'Roger.'

(Controller) 'I said use 3-0, not the control tower.'

(Tony) 'Your message received and understood.'


What-ho. What-ho.

How was the wonder kite? What do you think?

Can I take her out tomorrow? No, Windy. She's my baby.

I've nothing on AM. Oh, yes, you have. I've got a job for you.

I promised to deliver a Vampire for De Havillands.

Where to? Cairo.

Cai... Cairo! Ooh, whizzo!

(Phone rings) Er, don't tell the wife.

Hello? Hello, darling.

Yes, just a few minutes ago. Hey, what's for dinner?

No. Piece of cake. No, really.

I shan't be long. Goodbye.

Here, Windy, let's have that back. Here, I say...

I just remembered there's a type I know in Cairo and I could do with a little sun myself.

Never mind, you have a nice quiet weekend at Shoreham.

Well, how was it? All right.

Did you take her flat out? No, nothing like.

Pity. Why pity?

I thought our intrepid air ace might be the first man through the sound barrier.

There ain't no such thing.

You ought to check up on your supersonics, not to mention the popular press.

What's so ruddy peculiar about the speed of sound?

We all know exactly what it is, don't we?

750 miles per hour at ground level.

If we go slower than that, we can hear ourselves going, and if we go faster, we can hear ourselves coming.

It's a mere matter of acoustics.

Hello, Miss Mitchell. Good afternoon.

(Tony's voice) '19,000, Mach 0.7.

'Slight buffeting commencing on wings.

'18,500. Buffeting increasing.

'17,500. Mach 0.8. Buffeting's rather bad.'

She's shaking to pieces. The whole ruddy issue's disintegrating.

Don't do that. You'll give me heart failure.

'I'm throttling back and pulling out.'

What an exquisite voice I do have, to be sure.

Coming for a drink? No, got too much work to do.

How's the 902 coming along?

I want J. R. to find a name for her.

Something that would suggest the highest speed yet flown.

How about the "Line Shoot"? There won't be any line shoot about her.

She'll do it all right. Do what?

The speed of sound.

What would happen if you put the wings on back to front?

Oh, go away. Go away.

Will... What?

Seriously... Uh-huh.

Apart from the buffeting and heavy controls and general wangling about and other little things we know about...

what exactly does happen to an aeroplane at the speed of sound?

I don't know. And shall I tell you something, Tony?

What? No one else in the world does either.

Darling? Cooee!

How was it? Piece of cake.

It's always a piece of cake.

Sherry? A little one.

What was your day like? Pretty good.

Tony? Uh-huh?

I've got the most wonderful news. Have you?

Two bits of wonderful news, in fact.

Only one's not quite so wonderful as the other.

So I'll start with the less wonderful. Uh-huh.

You know that little house at Andrew's Corner, Broom Cottage?

Mm-hm? I think we can have it.

But that belongs to that fellow Franklin. Mm, but he's leaving.

Oh. But this place isn't so bad, is it? No, of course not.

But, darling, don't you see what a difference it would make if we had a place that really belonged to us?

Oh, I see all that. But the old man will hate us leaving him.

He'll hate you leaving him. He'll hate his daughter leaving him too.

Oh, darling, don't you yet know after two years what Father and I really feel about each other?

I know you don't exactly see eye to eye... Eye to eye?

He's always despised me for not being born a son.

Darling... It's true.

Just as later he despised Chris for not turning out the sort of sort of son he wanted.

Well, I can't despise him in return, because I admire him.

I admire him tremendously for what he's done.

As for what he is... Well, all I can say, it's best I should live out of his house.

(♪ Gentle piano music)

What was the other wonderful piece of news?

It'll keep.


Were there any other symptoms besides this buffeting?

Well, I noticed that the controls got... hard at Mach 0.85, in rather a funny way.

What height was that? 18,000.

Hm. There's no doubt about it, we're just on the fringe of the problem.

Father? Mm?

What problem? Supersonics.

The sound barrier? Yes. That's a newspaper phrase.

And like most of them, pretty misleading.

You mean there isn't a barrier? Oh, there's a barrier all right.

But it's... spread out, on either side of the speed of sound, from roughly between Mach 0.85... Mach? What Mach?

You see, it's a way we have of measuring the speeds at which we fly.

We no longer fly at miles per hour, we fly at Mach numbers.

Now, Mach 1 is the speed of sound.

But why sound?

What makes a barrier? Is it sound?

It's a combination... It's air.

You see, Sue, there's a limit to the speed at which air itself can move.

Now, this rule's travelling at 30 mile an hour, let's say.


You can hear the air whistle as it moves out of its way.

But if it were travelling at 750 mile an hour, the speed of sound, Mach 1, the air could no longer move out of its way, because it just can't move that fast.

It'd pile up in front of the rule, or the aircraft, making, if you like, a barrier.

Now, we don't exactly know what happens to an aircraft when it gets into these conditions.

Tony knows it buffets as he gets near to them.

Some say the craft would go right out of control, others that it'll break up altogether. Now, I don't believe that, Sue.

I believe that with the right aircraft and the right man, we can force our way through this barrier, and once through, there is a world.

A whole new world, with speeds of 1,500 to 2,000 mile an hour, within the grasp of man.

And Tony here may be the first man to see that new world.

Well, let's go, shall we?

Do you think the Americans will beat us to it?

They may, but we're two years ahead in jet-engine development.

I think it's between ourselves, Vickers and De Havillands at the moment.

It's a pity De Havillands will have their 108 up before our 902.

Oh, by the way, Will wants a name for her. Got any ideas, Dad?

Yes. Prometheus. Prometheus? Who was he?

(Susan) He was a Greek god. Who stole fire from heaven.

Oh, yes, I remember. Came to a sticky end, didn't he?

He did. But the world got fire.

How long before I can have a crack at this thing, Dad?

Not long, but you've got quite a bit of homework to do first.

You'd better get started right away.

"A Theory of Supersonic Shockwaves." I shan't understand a word of this.

There's nothing to understand. That's the trouble.

That fellow spends 50 pages telling us he doesn't know a thing.

But you'd better read it, all the same. I shall need you to do some explaining.

You go up to the observatory, I'll be with you in a minute.

All right.

How's the new telescope working? It's good, but it might be better.

I think one day I'll build myself a proper observatory out in the park.

Father, answer me a question, will you? Yes?

Is the ability to travel at 2,000 miles an hour going to be a blessing to the human race?

Well, I'd say that's up to the human race.

As a member of it, I can't feel unduly optimistic.

In fact, if that's all that lies beyond this barrier, what purpose is there in risking lives to pierce it?

Well, I could talk about national security, beating the potential enemy bomber, flying to New York in two hours, but that's not the real point.

The real point is, it's just got to be done.

What purpose did Scott have in going to the South Pole?

I wish I knew. I really wish I knew.

Hm. This coffee's bitter.

Yes, I got it at Weymouth's in the high street.

Franklin tells me you've been looking at his house.

Yes, Father, I made him an offer.

That house is not suitable either for my daughter or my chief test pilot.

Franklin won't accept your offer.

How do you know? For, my dear Susan, Mr Franklin likes his present job very much.

And I have no doubt, no doubt at all, he'll be anxious to keep it.

Goodnight, darling.

Tony? Mm?

Will you try not to use "piece of cake" talk for a moment?

I'll try not to.

How dangerous is it going to be?

Well, exploring the unknown must always be a little... chancy.

Yes, I see.


I did go and see the doctor this morning.


End of December. Oh, how clever of you.

We'll save money on the little brat's birthday presents.

Certainly not. Even if arrives on Christmas Day, he will still get two lots.

We might give him a false birthday in June.

That's right, darling. Say "him". Say "him" whenever you think about it.

A psychologist chap I know says there is something in that theory.

Tony? What?

Must it be you? This sound barrier...

Must it be you? Yes, darling, I'm afraid it must.

Couldn't someone else? No, Sue, it's my pigeon.

I promised myself when you took this job that I'd never nag you about it, Tony, and I really wouldn't have done if you'd just gone on testing aeroplanes, but I find now I'm married not only to a test pilot, but married to an explorer as well. It's a bit unfair, Tony, really it is.

Darling, I hate it.

I'll think about it, darling, I promise you.

I'll think most awfully hard about it.

Hey. Do you remember Philip Peel? Of course.

Like to fly with me tomorrow and have lunch with him?

Fly... Hey, will he be all right? According to modern theory, yes.

He'd like to very much. Good.

(Whispers) Now, it's strictly unofficial, so not a word to anyone.

Not even Dad. We should be back by dinner.

All right? Yes.

Where are we going, Tony? Cairo.

Funny, I thought you said Cairo. Oh, I did say Cairo.

Don't be silly.

(Tony) You all right?


Ridgefield Tower from Glassjar 1 -0, clear for take-off?

1 -0, clear for take-off. Have a good time.

(Engine revs up)

We're starting to climb now. We use too much fuel down here.

How high are we going? About 40,000.

Eight miles.

Is our engine all right? I think so. Why?

I can hardly hear it. (Tony chuckles)

Glassjar 1 -0, this is Ridgefield Tower. Transmit for a fix.

(Tony) 'Ridgefield Tower, this is Glassjar 1 -0 transmitting for a fix.

'On course, 156, altitude 25,000 feet. Over.'

(Controller) Your position is Dover.

Darling. France. Cap Gris-Nez.

Belgium, and Holland on the horizon.


There you are. See the Arc de Triomphe and all the avenues branching off it?

(Susan) I can't see the Eiffel Tower. Well, look ahead, you can see the Alps.

We'll go over the top if the weather's OK.

Geneva Tower, this is Glassjar 1 -0.


You'll be able to see Athens in a moment.

(Susan) The Earth is beginning to look awfully small and insignificant.

I don't know that I like it. You're being old-fashioned, darling.

Why worry about the poor old Earth? Look up there!

There's our future. Space. You can't make that insignificant.

Down there's had it.

(Jet engine overhead)

Hey. There's the Comet.

One ladder! You're lucky to have one.

(Man) Tony!


It's good to see you. How are you?

And Sue, how are you? Wonderfully well, Phil.

Isn't this exciting?

Good trip? Piece of cake.

I see you haven't widened his vocabulary much.

I say, this is the Vampire, isn't it? Uh-huh. Night fighter.

I suppose I couldn't take her on a quick circuit, could I?

No, you certainly couldn't.

I always said you'd get bored becoming an oil magnate.

I'm not bored with it.

It's just that I haven't flown anything for 18 months, that's all.

If you want to fly, you'd better take that job at Ridgefields.

The offer's still open.

I'd better go and check in at the flight office.

Look, meet us over there by the Jeep. Ah-ha. OK.

What job at Ridgefields, Philip? Test pilot.

He mentioned it in his last letter, but I didn't take him seriously.

I didn't think he was high enough to scatter jobs about.

He is, you know. Does he get on with the great man?

He calls him Dad. Oh.

Phew, it's hot.

Oh, Tony, why did you bring that awful thing?

You know how I hate it.

When I got your wire, I thought you must be tight.

I probably was.

I say, how are you going to get back? Get back? Oh, I hadn't thought of that.

Why don't you try going by sea? It's a nice restful trip. Only 15 days.

Fifteen...? Tony, you mean to say...? Don't worry, we'll think of something.

Why not ask Cunningham?

He tests the Comet between here and London most days.

No, rival firm. No, we'll catch a lift somewhere.

Hey, where are you taking us for lunch?

To an open-air place. Jess is meeting us there.

Oh, good. It's the best food in Cairo.


To think you were in England only this morning, it seems like a miracle.

I can't quite believe it myself.

I'm so glad, Jess, to meet you at last. So am I.

I can never realise you don't know each other.

Here's to us. (All) To us.

How are the children? Fine, thank you.

Isn't that Cunningham? Yes, I think it is.

Darling, do you think I ought to swallow my pride and cadge that lift home?

I certainly do. If we have to go back by boat, I shall be wearing these trousers for a fortnight.

(Engines roar)

How much would they pay you as a test pilot?

What? Oh, about 200 a year less than I'm getting at the moment.

Oh well, I expect we'll manage somehow.

They're off!

Home. In five hours.

Thanks, John, she's a nice steady old crate.

(John) Go on!

Who was it said, "Oh, to be in England"? Browning. But he wasn't!

Oh, Tony, it was a wonderful trip. I knew you'd love it.

Love it? I shall treasure it all my life. Every single moment.

Darling, stop a minute, will you?

(Whistles) Paper.

Thank you.

I remember you telling me once that one of the reasons you love flying so much was that you found a sort of peace up there that you couldn't find anywhere on Earth.

When we seemed to be hanging up there between heaven and Earth, I found a strange, secure sort of peace too.

Almost like the feeling one gets in one of those especially comfy dreams.

I never thought it would be like that.

Darling, will you stop at the office block for a moment?

I want to see Dad about something. Of course.

I've just spoken to them.

And do they know what happened? No more than you read there.

And what speed?

The fastest yet achieved anywhere on Earth.

"Disintegrated... Wreckage lies scattered over a mile-wide area."

It looks as if it really had exploded in the air.

But they must know more than this. They don't. There's nothing left to tell.

They may have hit something. Aye, he hit something, all right.

He hit the speed of sound.

Well, it looks as if I might have been wrong after all.

You can't get through this thing.

That was a great aircraft, flown by a great pilot.

Yes, I know. Well...

Do we go on?

Well, that's for you to decide, isn't it?

Yes, I suppose it is.

I wanted to know how you feel about it.

Could we get a full report on all this and could I look at it? It might help us.

Oh, and if you're sending a wire, you might put my name on it too.

He was a good bloke, old Geoffrey.

I'd better say it at once. I'm going on with this sound-barrier business.

Why, Tony?

It's difficult to explain.

I just feel it's got to be done, that's all.

By you?

Yes, by me.

Was... he married?

Yes, I believe he was.

Is there anything I can say that will stop you, Tony?

No, Sue. Nothing.

Don't you see, I... I can't let the show down now?

Let the show down? Is there no thought in your mind of letting me down, or him?

Oh, Sue... If only I could understand, Tony.

But I can't, you see.

I can only see a great wall in the sky strong enough to smash an aircraft to pieces.

And beyond it, nothing. Nothing at all.

I'm sorry, Sue.


I promise you I did mean to speak to Dad and ask him whether I mightn't give up this job, but after...

Well, after this, how could I?

Don't you see what he'd have felt about me if I had?

I've heard those words before, Tony.

Christopher said them to me the night before he was killed.

He was scared too Father might think he was a coward.

Oh, it isn't that.

It's just... I don't want him to think I'm ratting on a job because someone else got killed doing it.

Where are you going? I can't face him tonight.

Oh, darling. Leave me alone.

Oh, Sue is not feeling very well. She's not coming down.

Oh. Sorry.

You know, when I first started flying, some people, religious people, thought what we were doing was wrong.

They thought it was breaking a law of nature.

Sounds funny now, of course, but they used to say, "If God had meant us to fly, he'd have given us wings."

Now, this sound barrier...

People might feel again that God had put it there for his own good purpose.

That it can't be broken. That it would be wrong to try.

Now, I wouldn't blame anyone who believed that. I...

I wouldn't blame them at all.

Do you believe that, Tony?

No, Dad. If I believe anything, it's the exact opposite.

Oh, if only I were 30 years younger.

Well, sorry about Sue. We'll get Factor to send her up a tray.

Let's go in, shall we?

(♪ MALCOLM ARNOLD: "The Sound Barrier")

(Engine roars)

(Intensifying engine thrust)

(Jet engine thrust)

(Doorbell rings) (Boy) Mummy, somebody at the door.

Yes, dear, I know.

Oh, Sally, don't play on the stairs, dear. I've told you before.

Hello, Jess. Am I disturbing you? No, of course not. Do come in.

I was shopping and I thought I'd drop in.

Hello, Bobby. I made this.

Oh, isn't that lovely?

Jess, I wanted to speak to Philip rather urgently. Is he in?

No, but he'll be back quite soon, I expect. Let's go in here.

Oh, I do think you've done this charmingly.

You know this is the house I'd set my heart on, don't you?

Why did you want this when you've got that big house almost to yourselves?

I just did.

Here he is and I haven't got the pie in the oven. Excuse me.

Hello, darling. Hello, sweetie.

Look who's here again. Isn't that nice? Oh.

I'm just getting lunch.

Hello. Hello. I was passing and I thought...

Well, it was a nice thought. Come on, come and sit down.

How was the flight? Wonderful.

Tony was kind about my flying too.

No regrets, then? None at all.

Why does everyone I'm fond of have to be a test pilot?

Why can't they sit in offices like the rest of humanity?

The rest of humanity doesn't know what it's missing.

(Jet engine overhead)

When Tony's flying these days... I try to go to the cinema.

You can't hear the sound so clearly in there.


How does Jess feel about all this?

Oh, I think she accepts it just as a job like any other.

I wish I were like Jess. I'm not very brave, I'm afraid.

When's he testing the Prometheus at full speed?

I don't know. You do, I think.

But perhaps it's best you shouldn't tell.

What's he doing at this minute? He's up for half an hour on a routine test.

Will you stay for lunch? Oh, won't that be difficult for Jess?

Has she enough? She'll manage somehow.

Susan, you mustn't worry, you know. There's no better pilot in this country.

Philip, I believe to have courage, one must also have understanding.

If only I could understand the purpose of it all.

You know, I don't think that sort of understanding comes from up here.

Only from here.

Oh, Jess, lay on another place, will you? Susan's staying for lunch.

Well? Tomorrow at 3:00.

What, the full test? Yeah.

That's good work, Will.

She's still nose-heavy over Mach 0.90.

Well, give up the test if you're worried. Of course I'm worried! Wouldn't you be?

Tony says it's not serious. He can correct easily.

He doesn't want to wait any longer. Nor do I.

You need a rest, Will. Of course I need a rest!

I've needed a rest for over 35 years.

Give me a drink. You know where to find it.

Where is Tony now? He's over with the new test pilot.

That boy's a good flyer, by the way. Tony says he's better than him.

That's not true. No one's better than Tony.

Tony hasn't got it up here. That's what a pilot needs nowadays.

Brains and imagination.

Isn't that what they've always needed? Maybe. Well, here's hoping.

(Jet engine overhead)

Well, what is it, Dad? A galaxy in Andromeda.

And how far away is that? Oh, about 700,000 light years.

You mean that what I am seeing now is the way this galaxy looked 700,000 years ago?

That's right. Hm.

I'm looking at the past, then, aren't I? In a manner of speaking.

Is there a way of looking into the future? Yes.

How? Through that telescope.

What you see there is the past, the present and the future, all in one.

The process of continuous creation. Stars die, stars are born.

No beginning, no end.

Yes, you can see into the future out there, all right.

Nice hobby you've got here. Passes the time.

Well, goodnight. Tony?

You hardly knew Christopher, did you? Well, just that one night.

Susan blames me for his death, doesn't she?

Oh, that you needn't answer. I know she does.

I just wondered if you blame me too. You can tell me the truth, I can take it.

Do you, Tony?


Hm. Well, goodnight, Tony boy. Happy landings for tomorrow.

Piece of cake.

Oh, sorry, darling. I didn't mean to wake you.

You're very late, Tony. I've been gassing with the old man.

Are you flying tomorrow?

Just the usual bumble around.

What time? Three o'clock.

I'll see that film at the Palace. Mm.

It's a good one, I hear.

Darling? Mm-hm?

Do you mind if we call him John?

I think I do.

Goodnight. Goodnight, my love.

Pity. What?

That I didn't meet you ten years ago. Why?

I'd have had ten years longer of being married to you.

Goodnight. Goodnight.


Oh, Tony.

Crash crew, this is Control, testing. How do you hear me?

Roger. Stand by in crash position on runway 2-0.

Good afternoon. Hello.

(Jet engines revving)


(Tony) 'Ridgefield Tower from Glassjar 1 -0. Clear for take-off?'

1 .0. Clear to go.


(Jet engine revs)

(Jet engine overhead)

(Tony) 'Ridgefield Tower, this is Glassjar 1 -0.

'I'm going up to 40,000 and dive her first at a Mach number of about 0.95 or 0.96.'

(Controller) Roger, 1 -0. (Tony) 'Coming in over the airfield now.'

1 .0 to Tower. Flying level 30,000 feet.

Conditions pretty near perfect. Visibility unlimited.

I'm going up another ten to 40,000.

40,000, straight and level.

Outside air temperature, 50 below.

Revs 12.5, ASI 380 knots. OK, here we go.

Mach 0.90.

No buffeting, trim correct, increasing speed.



Buffeting! Nose-heavy! Trimming back!

(Intense buffeting and thrust)

Port wing dropping! Air brakes open! Throttling back!

(Grunts and moans)

(Tony) 'OK. At that speed, nothing serious.

'Behaviour normal, apart from nosing down.

'Right, I'm going up to 40,000 feet again for the full go.'

Hello, Tony, this is Will.

Did you correct that nose-heavy trim before opening air brakes?

All right, Will, you old hen.

Everything you said would happen did happen. All in order, don't fuss.

What about your nose-heavy trim? Did you correct?

'Of course I corrected. I told you I was climbing again, didn't I?'

OK, 40,000. Straight and level.

All set. Hang on a minute.

Here we go. This is it.


Buffeting! Nose-heavy! Trimming back!

0.96... 0.97...


25,000. Very nose-heavy. Air brakes open.

The controls don't respond! I can't hold her!


(Tony) 'Still no response!' Bail out.

It's coming up to Mach 1!

Bail out. Bail out!

(He screams)


(Alarm wails)

(Controller) Crash, square able 7.

(Alarms continues)

(Truck bells ringing)

(Crowd cheers on screen)


Get back!

Why did you come here? I wanted to.

I wanted to.


(She pants)

Here, you'd better sit down.

Is... Is Father here? No.

He was here for an hour or more, but he's gone now.

Oh, Will.

I don't know what to say to you, Susie, love. I don't know what to say.

I can't go on, of course. I've had my fill of designing aeroplanes.

Still I don't know where it went wrong. I can't fathom it.

Oh, I suppose I've got too old.

What are you going to do?

I don't know. I... hadn't thought.

I must go somewhere, I think. No, Susie love, please, don't.

I'm thinking of J. R.

I know how things are between you, but don't leave him alone now.

Not for a bit, anyway.

I must go now, Will.

Please don't blame yourself.

Tony knew... he was up against something he couldn't beat.

Come on, I'd better take you home.

(Tony's voice) 'AII set. Hang on a minute.

'Here we go. This is it.

'0.95... Buffeting! Nose-heavy! (Grunts)

'Trimming back! 0.96...



'Down to 25,000. Very nose-heavy. Air brakes open.

'The controls don't respond. I can't hold her!

'0.99...! Still no response.'

(Will) 'Bail out.' (Tony) 'Coming up to Mach 1!'

(Will) 'Bail out. Bail out!'

(Tony screams)

Sue. Jess.

Get Dr Peyton, Philip.

Come along, we'll go upstairs.

It is a boy, isn't it? Yes.

(Baby moans)

(She weeps)

Oh, it's Tony.

We name this child... John Anthony.

John Anthony, I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, amen.

Now, smile, please.

He's here. The car's outside. Oh dear, I hoped he wouldn't.

Oh, don't panic, Jess.

Ah, how do you do?

Well, hello, Sue. Hello, Father.

Hello, young fella. Did you christen him Tony?

No, John. It was what Tony wanted.

Hm. He's a fine baby. Yes, isn't he?

Oh, Sir John, can I tempt you to this? Oh, thank you, Mrs Peel.

It's a charming house you have. Glad you like it, Sir John.

I haven't had a chance yet of congratulating you, Father.

Mm. Quite a surprise.

I hear the new airliner is a great success.

Mm. We hope so. Now, here's a small present for... John.

Thank you.

The Chinaman, he says, "Me no likey plitty lady. Me likey plitty drinky."

Hello, Will. Hello, J. R.

Delighted to see you looking so much better. How was Bognor?

Oh, very restful, very quiet. I'm glad you're back.

I'm not back. Oh.

Well, when you're at Bognor, you might have a look at this.

I'd like your views.

Byfield's work? Yes.

What's his idea in that? To increase stability.

The way I see it, J. R., a good aircraft has...

It's got to have something sort of... inevitable about it.

Now, look. This thing could be changed a hundred different ways.

For example...

Do you know what you are, J. R.? You're a vile seducer.

Oh, by the way, I hear you've made a new Prometheus.

What's the idea? It's too good an aircraft to lose, Will.

It's the best that came out of England since the war.

No. It failed, J. R. It wasn't the aircraft that failed, Will.

Now, you come and see me on Monday.

Well, this may not be the time to tell you, but I've been watching your work very closely, and now Makepeace is leaving us, I've decided to promote you to chief test pilot.

Oh, thank you, Sir John. In the firm, I'm still known as J. R.

Take up the new Prometheus tomorrow. Yes, J. R.

Take her up every day for the next few weeks.

No specific tests, just get used to her. Right.

Goodbye and thank you. A charming party.

Oh, and Peel? Not above Mach 0.90 until further orders.

(♪ MALCOLM ARNOLD: "The Sound Barrier")

(Jet engine overhead)

Philip? I think so.


Hello, darling.

Come on. Up we get.

Has John been good? Yes.

He doesn't seem to mind the noise at all.

Jess? Mm-hm?

You've both been very good to me here.

I don't think you'll ever realise how grateful I am.

Why this all of a sudden? I think I've got that flat in London.

Oh dear, I'm sorry. We shall both miss you terribly.

I shall miss you.

Couldn't you find something a little nearer here?

I don't want him to grow up at Ridgefields in the shadow of his grandfather.

(Jet engine overhead)

Come on, darling.

Why not stick the nose on the tail? I'll stick your nose on your tail.

Will? What?

Is it possible that at the speed of sound, the controls are reversed?

At the speed of sound, Philip, anything's possible. Why?

During the war once, I put a Spitfire into a flat-out dive.

No particular reason, just youthful high spirits.

I think now that I hit the sound barrier.

I remember that the more I pulled on the stick, the harder the nose went down. The same thing happened this morning.

You're not supposed to do a high Mach number!

I know, but I did.

Both times, I had the feeling that if I'd had the guts to put the stick forward instead of pulling it back, I could have pulled out without having to lose speed.

What do you think?

There's nothing in the books to suggest for one second anything so Edgar Allan Poe-ish.

Rather depends on the books, doesn't it, Will?

There were books once that said the Earth was flat.

(Phone ringing)

Yes? Oh. He's here.

It's J. R., for you.

Hello? (Jet engine overhead)

Peel here, J. R. Yes? What, now?

Well, yes, of course.

What have I done? He sounded grim as blazes.

Here's Daddy.

I'm sorry I'm late, darling.

We started, darling. The children have to have their hair cut.

I had to see the old man. You've got it, then?

I've got what? Well, the rise, of course.

Oh, blast it. I forgot to ask him.

You forgot to ask him? Yes. I'm sorry, darling.

Oh, really! What a husband.

(Girl moans) Bobby, go out and play on the lawn.

Here we are. That's it, you come with me.

Nice flight, dear? Yes, thanks. Wonderful.

I've got something hot for you in the oven.

What does he want?

You won't tell Jess, will you? No.

He asked me to take the Prometheus up and reproduce exactly the conditions under which Tony crashed.

Could I have the bread, please?


At the same speed? Well, faster, if possible.


I shall take her up this afternoon for a high Mach number, and if that's all right, full crack tomorrow.

Are you going to do it?

Look, I don't have to, you know.

This was merely a suggestion, not an order.


That's the situation, Sue. I don't have to, but I must.

Why must you? Well...

It's a bit hard to explain.

I only know that if I don't accept your father's suggestion, I should never want to fly again.

And as flying, I've now found out, is my life, well, I...

There we are, darling. I hope it's still all right.

It looks lovely.

Fancy you forgetting to ask for the rise.

I shouldn't worry about it. I don't think he'll... object now.

Is it safe to buy the coats for the children?

Oh, good. Now they'll look smarter than those stuck-up Harrison kids.

"A complaint from one of our most important customers in Mexico

"has revealed to me a possible defect

"in the Marlborough Mark III engine mounting..."

Ah. Hello, Will.

What's the test scheduled for the Prometheus tomorrow?

The details are on the sheet.

There's one quite important detail that isn't.

At what Mach number is my machine to fly?

Mach 1.

Wasn't Tony enough for you?

We learnt a lot from Tony's crash.

Just enough to know that to fly at the speed of sound is death.

Haven't you had enough of that? No.

Ever heard of pilotless aircraft?

This problem can't be solved with pilotless aircraft.

Not in years, anyway.

Well, what are a few years one way or another?

Important to me. I may not have so many of them.

Trying for a peerage now, huh?

You'd better get out, Will. I'm sorry for you, J. R.

I don't know what devil it is that's eating you up.

And it can't make life any too happy for you.

Cable to Mexico City.

"Your letter received, and will receive our attention. Stop."

Oh. Good evening, Sue.

Good evening, Father.

Well, you don't often give me the pleasure of seeing you these days.

How's my grandson?

He's very well. Good.

Father? Yes?

Are you going on with this test tomorrow? What's that to do with you?

Did Philip tell you what happened to him this afternoon?

Yes. I've just been reading his report.

For a good ten seconds, he was completely out of control.

What are his chances if that happens tomorrow?

Well, it might not happen tomorrow.

Please put off the test, Father.


You're prepared to let Philip go the way of Tony?

Well, we don't know the way of Tony.

That's Philip's job tomorrow, to find out how Tony was killed.

And Tony was finding out how Geoffrey de Havilland was killed, and another pilot will find out how Philip was killed.

And each time, we'll learn a bit more.

So that one day in the distant future, Ridgefields will build an airliner that'll go to New York in three hours.


So that a few people who can afford the fare will spend an occasional weekend in New York, and Ridgefields shares will go up and up.

My dear Susan, what kind of man do you think I am?

I don't know. I... really don't know.

What sort of a man with two deaths on his conscience could risk burdening it with a third?

A man whose only human feeling is a passionate worship for a pile of bricks and mortar called Ridgefields?

My dear Susan, if you were to tell me that only by giving up Ridgefields and going back to where I started, could I find out what happens to an aircraft at the speed of sound, I'd say, "All right, Susan, my girl, it's a deal."

I don't believe that. That's because you can't understand it!

You make imaginary sacrifices for yourself, but it's other people's lives you really sacrifice.

You think I felt nothing at Tony's death?

What else can I think, when a few hours after his death I find you listening to his voice?

Our ways are different in so many things, I expect our ways of feeling grief are different too.

Well, I don't suppose you've any more to say to me.

Yes, I have, Father. I'm taking John to live in London.

Oh? Indeed?

You know why I'm taking your grandson away from you, don't you?

You want me to think of you as a man with a vision.

Well, that vision has killed both my husband and my brother.

And while I'm alive, it's not going to kill my son too.

There are evil visions as well as good ones, you know, Father.

That's why I'm taking my baby away.

Thanks, Windy. Tell them I'll be out in two minutes, will you?


You sent for me, Father.

Well, thank you for coming. I've... I've got something to say.

(Jet engine thrust)

(Philip) '1 -4 to Tower. Climbing now.

'JPT seems a bit high, but other pressures normal.

'Checking. Will call again later.'

Erm, before you go off, I...

I wanted to know what school you've got John down for.

Is that all you wanted to say? No.

Good schools are not two a penny. You've got to think.

But surely there's plenty of time.

(Philip) '1 -4 to Tower. 14:20 hours.

'I'm climbing to 40,000 feet. Weather conditions ideal.

'I'm going to make my first run level at full throttle.

'Still climbing.'

Susan... Yes, Father?

(Philip) 'Levelling out now. 40,000.

'AII right. I'm all set.

'Starting run now.

'Increasing speed.

'Revs 12.5.

'Mach 0.88.

'0.89. Slight buffeting.

'0.90. Getting nose-heavy now. Correcting.'

(Jet engine rumbling)

(Philip) 'Throttling back.

'Run completed.'

I'm sorry, I must go. No, don't go! Stay and talk.

Don't leave me alone.

(Philip) '1 -4 to Tower.

'Still at 40,000. At that speed, she was quite controllable.

'There was a slight port wing drop, but nothing serious.

'Didn't have to use trim, I corrected on the stick.

'JPT now normal.'

Well, what were we talking about? It, erm...

It was about schools, wasn't it? Yes.

(Philip) 'Right. Second run. This time we'll try a dive.

'35 degrees.

'Here we go again. Starting dive... now.

'Maximum revs.


'Slight buffeting.


'She's pitching a bit. Still buffeting.

'0.93... Nose very heavy now.

'Trimming back!

'Port wing dropping. Correcting!

'0.94... Still under control.


'Nose still going down.

'Air brakes open, throttling back.

'Second run completed.'

Can a vision be evil, Sue? Can it? Can it?

I shouldn't have said that.

It's a terrible thing to make a man doubt everything he's ever lived for.

If I've killed them both for nothing. Well, it can't be true, can it? Can it?

Ridgefield Tower, this is 1 -4. 40,000 again.

All right. Third and last, steepest possible dive.

Full throttle. Here we go.


0.95... Buffeting!



0.98... Out of control!

25,000 feet.

Air brakes out, throttling back.

Pulling out of dive.

'Ridgefield Tower, this is 1 -4. Nose heavy again.

'I couldn't trim out, I had to use the air brakes to pull out.'

All right. Clear to land now. Runway 3-0.

1 -4, negative. I've got an idea I want to try out. I'm going up again.

(Philip) 'Ridgefield Tower, this is 1 -4. 40,000 feet.

I think I can beat this nose-heavy business by reversing the controls.

Anyway, I'm going to try. I won't be a moment.

(Sighs heavily)

All right, here we go.

'Increasing speed.



Buffeting. 0.96...



She's out of control!



Mach 1!

I'm putting the stick... forward!

She's coming up! Throttling back. Pulling out now!


(Philip groans)

I did it! I did it!


1 -4 to Tower.

On fourth run, Mach meter showed 1 .01.

Corrected nose-heavy trim by putting the stick forward.

Have you got that? Stick forward!

I'm landing now.

He's got through. It's all right. He's got through.

(Jet engine approaching)

You'll... You'll do me a favour, will you?

Of course.

You don't tell anyone what happened in this office this afternoon.

Do you think I would?

I say, a chap called Sound just looked in. He's absolutely livid with you, old boy.

He says he's going to bump his speed up next time.

Oh, good, I've found you in. I want to show you this.

Lord & Mason's won't take it back... Look, darling... we've got to make up our minds now. Do you think the colour's too much?

They've got a sort of beigey colour with stripes going down here, and I...

It seemed a bit dull to me, but...

Look, darling, pay attention. This is very important.

Is it all right? Yes, I'm sorry, darling. Yes, it's fine.

Good, that's lovely. I'll be able to get back in time.

Well, bye-bye, darling. See you at home.



Hm. I thought I heard a car.

I wondered if it could be you.

He has a look of Tony.

His eyes.

What's that? It's the moon.

I never knew it could look so unfriendly.

It's an unfriendly universe.

Do you believe that?

Unfriendly only because it's unconscious of our existence.

That's a depressing conception. Doesn't depress me.

In our fight with the universe, it gives us the advantage.

Must it always be a fight? Well, I think it must.

It wasn't for nothing we were given so many weapons to fight with.

Such as? Imagination, for one thing.

Which some people call vision, don't they?

Yes, some people do.

And I suppose another weapon is courage.

Daddy, why didn't you tell me? Tell you what?

How alone you must've been.

Even Will had more imagination than me...

I am sorry.

You've no need to be.

(John exclaims)

I must put John to bed. Yes.

He's no right to be up as late as this. And you mustn't keep your car waiting.

The car's gone, Father. We've come home.