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Spitfire (1942)
"The First of the Few" (original title)

Approved  |   |  Biography, Drama, War  |  14 September 1942 (UK)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 970 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 5 critic

Aircraft designer/patriot R. J. Mitchell, alarmed at growing German militarism, works to perfect a defense against the German Messerschmidt at the cost of his health.

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(original story), (original story) (as Kay Strueby) , 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Rosamund John ...
Roland Culver ...
Anne Firth ...
David Horne ...
Mr. Higgins
J.H. Roberts ...
Sir Robert McLean (as J. H. Roberts)
Derrick De Marney ...
Squadron Leader Jefferson
Rosalyn Boulter ...
Mabel Lovesay
Herbert Cameron ...
MacPherson
Toni Edgar-Bruce ...
Lady Houston (as Toni Edgar Bruce)
Gordon McLeod ...
Major Buchan
George Skillan ...
Mr. Royce
Erik Freund ...
Messerschmitt
Fritz Wendhausen ...
Von Straben (as F. R. Wendhausen)
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Storyline

By the late 1920's aircraft designer R.J. Mitchell feels he has achieved all he wants with his revolutionary mono-planes winning trophy after trophy. But a holiday in Germany shortly after Hitler assumes power convinces him that it is vital to design a completely new type of fighter plane and that sooner or later Britain's very survival may depend on what he comes to call the Spitfire. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 September 1942 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Spitfire  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's opening prologue is a quote from Alexander de Seversky. It states: "In the grim days of 1940, when Britain stood alone between mankind and the Nazi hordes, a fighter plane staved off disaster. Behind this plane lies the heroic and unselfish story of R.J. Mitchell - - the British Engineer whose story is a great inspiration to American engineers and designers - - those invisible members of the air-power team - - who toil relentlessly to forger superiors weapons, so that their teammates, the gallant air-men, may go into combat with the kind of advantage they deserve." See more »

Goofs

Where David Niven is talking to Leslie Howards' secretary, she is using a 'Royal' typewriter. Later, when Leslie Howard comes out of his office and talks to Crisp (Niven), the typewriter is a 'Jaydo' or 'Jaybo' brand. See more »

Quotes

German: Guns *always* have the last word! Any nation that has forgotten that is *finished*!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: Zero Day September 15th, 1940 See more »

Soundtracks

Der kleine Rekrut
(uncredited)
Music by Friedrich Wilhelm Kücken
Arranged by Roy Douglas
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User Reviews

 
Propaganda, but wonderful propaganda
27 May 2006 | by (Southsea, UK) – See all my reviews

'The First of the Few' relates the story of the development of the Supermarine Spitfire by R.J.Mitchell, although as almost anyone who knows anything about the 'Battle of Britain' will tell you, around 70% of the Royal Air Force's front line fighters were Hawker Hurricanes. Slower, but a more stable and resilient gun platform than the Spitfire. In the Battle of Britain (fought in the summer of 1940) the Royal Air Force deployed the Hurricanes against bombers, while the more agile Spitfires engaged their fighter escorts. The Hurricane was designed by Sydney Camm (1893-1966) who designed many post-war jet aircraft including the Hawker Hunter - maybe someone should make a film of his life. An uncle of mine was an ace with 6 kills to his credit, flying a Hurricane from Malta. His aircraft was short down by British anti-aircraft fire on 29-12-1941. No, there's nothing new about friendly fire. William Walton's music also makes a great contribution to the film, and is now rightly (popular as the 'Spitfire Prelude and Fugue')in the concert hall.


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