Out of the Clouds

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Out of the Clouds
"Out of the Clouds".jpg
Directed by Basil Dearden
Produced by Michael Relph
Eric Williams
Written by John Eldridge
Michael Relph
Rex Rienits
Based on novel The Springboard 
by John Fores
Starring Anthony Steel
Sid James
James Robertson Justice
Music by Richard Addinsell
Cinematography Paul Beeson
Edited by Jack Harris
Distributed by General Film Distributors (UK)
Release dates
  • February 15, 1955 (1955-02-15) (UK)
Running time
88 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Out of the Clouds is a 1955 British drama film directed by Basil Dearden, and starring Anthony Steel, Sid James and James Robertson Justice. An Ealing Studios production, the film is composed of small stories dealing with the passengers and crew on a day at an airport. Out of the Clouds was filmed at London's Heathrow Airport.[1]


During a day at a British airport, many complications arise involving both passengers and airline crew members. Pilot Gus Randall (Anthony Steel) is a gambler who is caught up in a smuggling ring as well as a love triangle. Nick Millbourne (Robert Beatty) is an airport Duty Officer who wants to get back in the sky and vies with Gus for the attentions of stewardess Penny Henson (Eunice Gayson). Passengers Bill Steiner (David Knight) and German Leah Rosch (Margo Lorenz) cross paths on opposite journeys; after their flights are grounded by bad weather, they fall in love. Nick and Penny also find happiness together.



London's Heathrow Airport was also a "star" in Out of the Clouds.

Out of the Clouds is loosely based on the novel The Springboard by John Fores and was adapted by Rex Reinits. The screenplay was written by Michael Relph and John Eldridge.

The Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation co-operated with the film. Technical assistance was provided by BOAC, British European Airways and Pan-American World Airways.[2] Principal photography at Heathrow Airport started in early June 1954 with a temporary production office set up at the airport.[3] The film used one of Ealing Studios' largest ever sets to create the interior of the terminal building. An exact replica set of the Heathrow visual control room (air traffic control tower cab) was also built, as filming at the actual location was impractical.[3]


Out of the Clouds was released in the UK on 15 February 1955, 2 May 1955, in Sweden and 31 July 1957, in the USA.[1] Reviews for the film were mixed. TV Guide wrote, "it has the feel of a soap opera crossed with a documentary." [4]

Film historian George Perry described the film in Forever Ealing, as "... another of Ealing’s attempts at a behind the scenes approach – this time an anatomy of London Airport, a much smaller community in the mid-Fifties than now. Compared with Arthur Hailey’s treatment of the same formula in the Sixties in his novel Airport, the result is remarkably tame. As is usual in such Ealing pictures, and in this one more than most, the background and setting are more interesting than the foreground characters, and Paul Beeson’s EastmanColour photography provides a fascinating record of how Heathrow looked in its early days." [5][6]

Leonard Maltin's review was typical of the critical reaction to Out of the Clouds, "work and play among commercial pilots; nothing special."[7]

The authors of The Cinema of Basil Dearden and Michael Relph wrote that the background and setting are more interesting than the characters.[3] Film historian Professor Charles Barr described the film as an acquired value as a period piece.[8]

Home media[edit]

In re-release, Out of the Clouds is the last disc in Ealing Classics 2009, Volume 1.[9]




  1. ^ a b "Out of the Clouds (1955)." Theiapolis Cinema. Retrieved: 17 June 2010.
  2. ^ "High-flying love story." The Australian Women's Weekly (1933–1982) via National Library of Australia, 28 December 1955, p. 37. Retrieved: 7 May 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Burton and O'Sullivan 2009, pp. 168–169.
  4. ^ "Out of The Clouds Review." Movies.tvguide.com. Retrieved: 15 June 2014.
  5. ^ "Out of the Clouds (1955) | Britmovie | Home of British Films." Britmovie. Retrieved: 15 June 2014.
  6. ^ Perry 1991, p. 164.
  7. ^ Maltin, Leonard. "Leonard Maltin Movie Review: Out of the Clouds." Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved: 20 September 2014.
  8. ^ Barr 1998, p. 206.
  9. ^ Wilson, Adam. "Ealing Classics 2009, Volume 1." Cine Outdsider. Retrieved: 25 September 2014.


  • Barr, Charles. Ealing Studios. Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1998. ISBN 978-0-520-21554-2.
  • Burton, Alan and Tim O'Sullivan. The Cinema of Basil Dearden and Michael Relph. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-7486-3289-3.
  • Perry, George. Forever Ealing: A Celebration of the Great British Film Studio. London: Pavilion Books, 1991. ISBN 978-0-90751-660-6.

External links[edit]