The worthy British war film always stirred the heart but also caused a slight apprehension. Too many stiff upper lips. This 1952 film is efficient, characterful and moving. It starts as it means to continue – mid-flight, tense, bracing you for the inevitable loss of life. ‘What you need to know about women is they need to keep busy to relax,’ is one of the deathless lines while one of the worried air traffic controllers knits to stop her hands shaking. This was what went on behind the scenes during the Battle of Britain, that long summer of 1940. John Gregson is the med student ‘Septic,’ Jack Hawkins is ‘Tiger’ and the couple of Denison and Gray are the householders at the end of the runway who host more than their share of inflight visitors. A smart script, a realistic approach and a real gem of the Fifties.