Cone of Silence

Date: 1960
Director: Charles Frend
Production Company: Aubrey Baring Productions

Stars: Michael Craig, Peter Cushing, Bernard Lee, Elizabeth Seal, George Sanders
Location(s): Gloucestershire, London

Region(s): ,


At the dawn of jet-powered commercial aviation, an aircraft manufacturer tries to shift the blame from mechanical failure to pilot error when its newest jet airliner has a series of accidents.

Additional Information:

Screen captures uploaded by Phil Wilkinson

Also known as ‘Trouble in the Sky’ (US Title)

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In London, Captain George Gort is questioned by Sir Arnold Hobbes during an inquiry into the crash of a Phoenix 1 jetliner on takeoff from Ranjibad airport. Peter identifies this as Millbank, opposite Victoria Tower Gardens in London SW1.

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And here's Peter's proof.

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Atlas Aviation's facility where the Phoenix 2 is being developed. In reality this is Filton Airfield, variously known as Bristol Filton Airport or Filton Aerodrome, in Gloucestershire.

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After a test flight, Captain Braddock (Charles Tingwell) and designer Nigel Pickering (Noel Willman) speak about the Phoenix project.

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Pickering shows the Captain a concept sketch of the original jet plane. Filton Airfield in Gloucestershire.

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At London Airport, Captain Edward Manningham reads through the accident report from the Phoenix crash. This is the Europa Building at Heathrow Airport near Hounslow, Middlesex which became Terminal 2 before being closed in 2009 and demolished the following year. The location was seen in 'Jet Storm', 'Quest for Love' and 'The Alphabet Murders'.

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Captain Gort's daughter arrives at the Atlas Aircraft Company to meet her father. Filton Airfield to the north of Bristol.

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The shot pans with the car as Captain Gort concludes a 'check flight' being carried out by Captain Dallas.

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Charlotte Gort (Elizabeth Seal) greets her father and is introduced to Dallas. Bristol Siddeley Engines Ltd at Filton Airfield, advises the title cards.

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Captain Hugh Dallas (Michael Craig) watches as Charlotte drives her father home to London.

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On a layover between flights, Captain Dallas and Stewardess Joyce Mitchell enjoy touring Rome. A couple more stock shots, this one of St. Peter's Basilica in the distance with Via della Conciliazione running from the bottom left.

And another of St. Peter's Basilica and Piazza San Pietro in Vatican City.

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Now. SJ

Back in London, the meticulous Gort prepares to set off for the airport. Cheyne Walk alongside the Thames with the Albert Bridge to the right.

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Peter returned to Chelsea for this comparison.

The camera moves left to find the building where Captain Gort and his daughter have an apartment.

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Carlyle Mansions on Cheyne Walk in Chelsea by Peter.

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In the offices of British Empire Airways, Nigel Pickering tells Captain Manningham of a delay to the introduction of the Phoenix 2 aircraft to allow for modifications.

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At fictitious Ranjibad airport, a British Empire Airways flight prepares for take off with Captain Gort at the controls.

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Captain Dallas arrives at the Atlas factory and confronts Pickering about difficulties with take-off in hot conditions. Filton Airfield near Bristol. The airfield closed at the end of 2012.