Spitfire

1942

Biography / Drama

Synopsis


Uploaded By: Gaz
Downloaded 13,859 times
September 21, 2012 at 5:55 am

Director

Cast

Leslie Howard as R.J. Mitchell
David Niven as Geoffrey Crisp
Rosamund John as Diana Mitchell
Roland Culver as Commander Bride
720p
750.59 MB
960*720
English
Approved
23.976 fps
1hr 30 min
P/S 1 / 8

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by fkba15989 8 / 10

Battle of Britain pilots as extras

This film could be unique in that the aircrew "extras" in the film who "Scrambled" during the Battle of Britain scenes were all pilots who had actually flown in the Battle of Britain.

I know this because at the end of 1941 I was stationed at 61 (Spitfire) Operational Training Unit at Heston (now part of Heathrow airport) and was billeted in Meadow Way Heston. My roommate was a Flight Sergeant I Hutchinson who was on "rest" from operational flying as the Maintenance Wing test pilot and was one of the "extras" in the film.

My recollection is that he had to be up at crack of dawn and was seldom free before about 2200 hours. On the other hand, his base was the Savoy Hotel!

To be a Flight Sergeant in 1941 meant you had been an airman pilot for quite some time and consequently had a lot of experience. I see from the Battle of Britain Roll of Honour that, thankfully, F Sgt Hutchinson survived the war.

He gave me my one and only flight in a single engined monoplane - a Miles Master - and I still recall that experience with great pleasure.

FAG KAY 33 Marchmont Rd Richmond Surrey TW10 6HQ

Reviewed by info4inglis 10 / 10

unsung heroes

The film was shot at Ibsley (now no longer in existence either as a base or a beacon, though you can see the remnants) which was in Hampshire, and in 1942 an active fighter station. The group of airmen listening to David Niven recounting the story of Mitchell were real RAF airmen. The filming did not stop for the war. If the bell went to scramble, filming would temporarily be halted while those airmen would run to their spitfires, go off and fight the war, before returning and carry on filming as though nothing had happened. At the end, Niven was so impressed with those heroes that he sent them off to The Savoy in London for the weekend, ringing the manager with instructions to give them whatever they wanted: women, drink, food, making sure the bill was sent direct to him. Difficult to imagine our pampered "stars" doing likewise these days! How do I know so much? One of those unsung heroes was my adored uncle Peter Howard-Williams, who had been in 19 Squadron flying out of Duxford during the Battle of Britain, but happened to be at Ibsley when the station was chosen for the film.

Reviewed by didi-5 5 / 10

fine swansong for Leslie Howard


This movie, a biopic of R.J. Mitchell, inventor of the Spitfire plane, saw the final appearance of that great British actor, Leslie Howard, who died in 1943 when his plane was shot down by the Germans. It was a fitting finale that one of his best roles, as the idealistic dreamer Mitchell, was his last.

Equally good (but perhaps a little young for the role) is David Niven as Mitchell's close pal Crisp. Niven was always good value and was convincing in uniform or official roles. Rosamund John has the remaining plum part as Mrs Mitchell, and plays the part very well.

'The First of the Few' works as propaganda, as an involving war actioner, and as a character study of an eccentric inventive mind. Howard's skill as a director ensures all angles are adequately covered and that the viewer is rarely bored. Dated it may be (and obviously so given the date of production) but should still appeal to a wide and discerning audience.

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