Angels One Five
|Angels One Five|
|Directed by||George More O'Ferrall|
|Produced by||John W. Gossage
|Written by||Pelham Groom (story)
|Edited by||Daniel Birt|
|Running time||98 minutes|
|Box office||₤258,199 (UK)|
Angels One Five is a 1952 British film directed by George More O'Ferrall, and starring Jack Hawkins, Michael Denison, Dulcie Gray, John Gregson, Cyril Raymond and Veronica Hurst. Based on the book What Are Your Angels Now? by Pelham Groom (who was also technical advisor to the film under his full title of W/Cdr. A. J. C. Pelham Groom), the plot centres on a young fighter pilot immediately before and during the Battle of Britain in the Second World War. Some scenes in the film were shot at RAF Uxbridge, home to a wartime operations room.
"Angels One Five" refers to RAF radio procedure words, from the Second World War, indicating the altitude of a radar contact is 15,000 feet.
The film begins with a replacement, Pilot Officer T. B. "Septic" Baird (John Gregson), landing his Hawker Hurricane at "Pimpernel" Squadron's airfield. Just as he touches down however, a straggler from an earlier mission taxis across his path. Septic's quick reactions allow him to "leapfrog" the other Hurricane, averting a costly disaster. However, this causes him to crash his replacement plane into the bungalow of Squadron Leader Barry Clinton (Cyril Raymond) at the end of the runway.
This earns Septic the wrath of his new squadron leader, Bill Ponsford (Andrew Osborn), because he damaged his plane. The crash also injures the ligaments in Septic's neck, which he is able to self-diagnose, as he had been a medical student before the war. The next morning, Septic is told by Group Captain "Tiger" Small (Jack Hawkins) that he will not be able to fly until his neck is healed, so he will instead serve in the operations room for the time being.
Several days later, with the risk of a bombing attack on the airfield, and all of Pimpernel Squadron's Hurricanes scrambled, Tiger orders all aircraft to take-off and fly out of harm's way until the raid is over. With Tiger quickly assembling all available pilots and finding aircraft to fly, Septic wins a foot race with Small to claim the last spare Hurricane for himself. He then proceeds to shoot down a Bf-110 from the attacking force. His delight is short lived however when he is admonished by Small and Sqn Ldr Peter Moon (Michael Denison) for leaving his radio set to transmit, preventing the returning Hurricanes from being diverted to an undamaged airfield. A crestfallen Septic returns to his ground duties.
Eventually a reinstated Septic joins in Pimpernel's operations, but he is mortally wounded while shooting down another enemy aircraft. His last words are heard over the Sector control room tannoy (public-address system), when he tells Small that their planned return foot race will have to be "postponed indefinitely". Small replies "Your message received and understood. Out." Septic then passes out and crashes to his death.
The film was the ninth most popular movie at the British box office in 1952.
- Jack Hawkins as Group Captain 'Tiger' Small
- Michael Denison as Squadron Leader Peter Moon
- Dulcie Gray as Nadine Clinton
- John Gregson as Pilot Officer 'Septic' Baird
- Cyril Raymond as Squadron Leader Barry Clinton
- Veronica Hurst as Betty Carfax
- Harold Goodwin as A.C. 2 Wailes
- Norman Pierce as 'Bonzo'
- Geoffrey Keen as Company Sergeant Major
- Harry Locke as Look Out
- Philip Stainton as Police Constable
- Vida Hope as W.A.A.F.
- Amy Veness as Aunt Tabitha
- Ronald Adam as Group Controller
- Humphrey Lestocq as Flight Lieutenant 'Batchy' Salter
- Andrew Osborn as Squadron Leader Bill Ponsford
- Peter Jones as Operations Room Sentry
- John Phillips as Engineering Officer
- John Sharp as 'Boss'
- Joan Sterndale-Bennett as W.A.A.F.
- Colin Tapley as Adjutant
The opening titles feature the Royal Air Force March Past.