The Sound Barrier (1952)
Ralph Richardson: J.R.
Susan Garthwaite : [regarding an image of the surface of the moon, displayed via JR's telescope] What's that?
John Ridgefield : It's the moon.
Susan Garthwaite : I never knew it could look so unfriendly.
John Ridgefield : It's an unfriendly universe.
Susan Garthwaite : Do you believe that?
John Ridgefield : Unfriendly only because it's unconscious of our existence.
John Ridgefield : I sent her to Oxford to get an education, all she comes back with is a passion for donkey-tail dogs and modernistic music. Where she gets that taste from, I don't know. Certainly not from me or her mother.
Susan : Mother liked modern music, very much.
John Ridgefield : First I've heard of it. If she did, she didn't let on to me.
Tony Garthwaite : Well, what the heck is it, sir?
John Ridgefield : The aircraft engine of the future.
Tony Garthwaite : Well, where's the propellor?
John Ridgefield : There is no propellor.
Susan : Well, how does it keep the aircraft in the air then?
John Ridgefield : By propulsion.
Tony Garthwaite : Propulsion?
John Ridgefield : Yes, jet propulsion!
John Ridgefield : No doubt about it. They're just on the fringe of the problem.
Susan : Father, what problem?
John Ridgefield : Supersonics.
Susan : The sound barrier?
John Ridgefield : Yes. That's a newspaper phrase.
Tony Garthwaite : Like most of them, pretty misleading.
Susan : You mean it isn't a barrier?
John Ridgefield : Oh, it's a barrier, all right.
Susan : What makes the barrier? Is it sound?
Tony Garthwaite : It's a combination...
John Ridgefield : It's air! You see, Sue, there's a limit to the speed that air itself can move. Now, this rule is traveling at 30 mph, let's say, you can hear the air whistle as it moves out of it's way. But, if it were traveling at 750 mph, the speed of sound, mach 1, the air could no longer move out of its way; because, it just can't move that fast. It would pile up in front of the rule or the aircraft, making, if you like, a barrier! Now, we don't exactly know what happens to an aircraft that gets into these conditions. Tony knows it buffets as he gets near to them. Some say the craft would go right out of control. Others say that it'll break up, all together. Now, I don't believe that, Sue. I believe that with the right aircraft and the right man, we can force our way through this barrier. And once through, there is a world! A whole new world! With speeds of 15 hundred to 2 thousand miles an hour within the grasp of man. And Tony, here, may be the first man to see that new world.
Susan : Is the ability to travel at 2,000 miles an hour going to be a blessing to the human race?
John Ridgefield : Well, I'd say that's up to the human race.
Susan : As a member of it, I can't feel unduly optimistic. In fact, if that's all that lies beyond the barrier, what purpose is it in risking lives to pierce it?
John Ridgefield : Well, I could talk about national security, beating the potential enemy bomber, flying to New York in two hours; but, that's not the real point. The real point is: it's just got to be done! What purpose did Scott have in going to the South Pole?
Susan : I wish I knew. I really wish I knew.
Tony Garthwaite : What is it Dad?
John Ridgefield : A galaxy - Andromeda.
Tony Garthwaite : How far away is that?
John Ridgefield : Oh, about 700,000 light years.
Tony Garthwaite : You mean what I'm seeing now is the way this galaxy looked 700,000 years ago?
John Ridgefield : That's right.
Tony Garthwaite : I'm looking into the past, then, aren't I?
John Ridgefield : In a manner of speaking.
Tony Garthwaite : Is there a way of looking into the future?
John Ridgefield : Yes.
Tony Garthwaite : How?
John Ridgefield : Through that telescope. What you see there is the past, the present and the future; all in one. The process of continuous creation. Stars die. Stars are born. No beginning. No end. Yes, you can see into the future, out there, all right.
Susan : [sarcastically] One day in the distant future, Ridgefield will build an airline that will go to New York in three hours.
John Ridgefield : Two.
Susan : So, the few people that can afford the fare will spend the occasional weekend in New York and the Ridgefield shares will go up and up.
John Ridgefield : My dear Susan, what kind of a man do you think I am?
Susan : I don't know. I *really* don't know.
Susan : Must it always be a fight?
John Ridgefield : Well, I think it must. It wasn't for nothing we were given so many weapons to fight with.
Susan : Such as?
John Ridgefield : Imagination, for one.
Susan : Which some people would call vision, don't they?
John Ridgefield : Yes, some people do.
Susan : I suppose another weapon is courage.