[Ludwig ] Guttmann was a refugee from Nazi Germany. Born into an orthodox Jewish family, by 1933 he was Germany’s leading brain surgeon. Then Hitler came to power and in 1939 he came to Britain where his skill in neurology led to his being asked by the government to set up the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville hospital, which he did in 1943.
At that time it was assumed that paraplegics would never be able to live any kind of normal life. The best that could be done for them was to keep them sedated by high doses of drugs, and left hospitalized and bed-ridden until they died.
Guttmann was appalled. He believed that they each had a life ahead of them, not just behind them. With faith and determination, they could leave their beds, go out into the world, have jobs, marry,find happiness and the dignity of achievement. The film tells how, by sheer will and unshakable obstinacy, he gave paraplegics back their life.