Directed by Basil Dearden, and taking place over the course of twenty-four hours, Out of the Clouds is an ensemble piece from Ealing Studios composed of several sub-stories, each dealing with the passengers, crew and support-staff working at or passing through London Airport (before it became Heathrow) back in the days where every plane was propeller-driven and you could drive your car right on to the tarmac and kiss the passengers goodbye just before take-off.
We observe the anxieties of pilots, watch passengers fall in love, and see various radar operators, duty officers and stewardesses go about their business.
Robert Beatty plays ex-pilot Nick Millbourne who has become the head of operations at the airport, but hates being on the ground and longs to get back to his old job of flying over the Atlantic. But the doctor will not pass him.
Captain Brent (James Robertson Justice) is an experienced pilot who repeatedly refuses to take off in a plane because he rightly says he hears something wrong with one of the four engines.
There is a touching love story about two young people – an American man and an engaged woman (played by David Knight and Margo Lorenz) – who meet at the airport while waiting for their delayed fogbound planes to take off in opposite directions.
Sid James has a bit part, as a man gambling on his wife’s life with travel insurance.
James Robertson Justice
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