Release dateJanuary 1957 WriterJohn Eldridge (screenplay), William Rose (screenplay), William Rose (story) Initial releaseJanuary 8, 1957 (United Kingdom) ScreenplayWilliam Rose, John Eldridge CastJack Hawkins (John Mitchell), Elizabeth Sellars (Mary Mitchell), Jeremy Bodkin (Nicholas Mitchell), Gerard Lohan (Philip Mitchell), Walter Fitzgerald (Reginald Conway), John Stratton (Peter Hook) Similar moviesFly Away Home, Airport 1975, Battle of Britain, Dark Blue World, The Tuskegee Airmen, Flight of the Intruder
TaglineDare-devil test pilot takes you on a nerve-tingling adventure!
Test pilot John Mitchell (Jack Hawkins) knows that in order to buy his wife, Mary (Elizabeth Sellars), the house of her dreams, he must restore the reputation of his flagging aircraft manufacturing company. At the urging of company owner Reginald Conway (Walter Fitzgerald), John and his crew agree to pilot a prototype airplane. But when things go terribly wrong with one of the planes engines, John must decide between parachuting to safety and trying to successfully land the plane.
Man in the Sky (released in the U.S. as Decision Against Time) is a 1957 film starring Jack Hawkins and produced by Ealing Studios, although the on - screen credit was changed to Ealing Films as this was the first Ealing production to be made at MGM British Studios following the sale of the Ealing site.
The efforts of test pilot John Mitchell to make a better life for his wife Mary and their two children seem doomed to failure and he blames himself. At the Conway Aero-Manufacturing Company of Wolverhampton, Mitchell is to take the company's new rocket-propulsion transport plane up for tests, fully loaded and carrying two important passengers - Ministry official Crabtree and buyer's representative Ashmore. Mitchell learns from his boss, Reg Conway, that if Ashmore does not recommend the plane, the company will be out of business and Mitchell out of a job, since the plane is not even insured as the firm's entire capital is tied up in the plane. Aloft, an engine catches fire and the passengers and other crew bail out, but Mitchell refuses to obey orders to jettison the plane in the Irish Sea.
Test pilot John Mitchell (Jack Hawkins) disappoints his wife Mary (Elizabeth Sellars) by refusing to increase their unsuccessful bid for a house. What she does not know is that the aircraft manufacturing company he works for is in desperate financial straits. Owner Reginald Conway (Walter Fitzgerald) needs to convince Ashmore (Eddie Byrne) to place an order soon or the firm will go bankrupt.
Mitchell takes the only prototype of a new aeroplane for a flight, with Ashmore and several others aboard. During testing, one engine catches fire. Ashmore and the others parachute to safety. Then, despite Conways order and the urgings of others, Mitchell decides to try to land the aeroplane rather than crashing it into the sea. However, he has to fly back and forth for half an hour to use up the fuel.
During the tense wait, co-worker Mrs. Snowden (Megs Jenkins) takes it upon herself to notify Mitchells wife. Mary goes to the airfield and watches as her husband manages to land safely. Later, at home, she demands to know why he risked his life when everyone told him to bail out. He explains that it was his duty and the companys fate hung in the balance. Then he phones their real estate agent and agrees to the sellers price.
Jack Hawkins as John Mitchell
Elizabeth Sellars as Mary Mitchell
Jeremy Bodkin as Nicholas Mitchell, Johns young son
Gerard Lohan as Philip Mitchell, Johns other young son
Walter Fitzgerald as Reginald Conway
John Stratton as Peter Hook
Eddie Byrne as Ashmore
Victor Maddern as Joe Biggs
Lionel Jeffries as Keith
Donald Pleasence as Crabtree
Catherine Lacey as Marys Mother
Megs Jenkins as Mrs. Snowden
Ernest Clark as Maine
Raymond Francis as Jenkins
Russell Waters as Sim
The Running Man (1963). Jack Hawkins and others appear in Man in the Sky and Front Page Story. Jack Hawkins appears in Man in the Sky and Mandy. Jack Hawkins appears in Man in the Sky and No Highway in the Sky. Edward - My Son (1949).
According to MGM records the film earned $150,000 in the US and Canada and $350,000 elsewhere, resulting in a loss of $176,000.