A group of conscripts are called up into the infantry during WWII. At first they appear a hopeless bunch but their sergeant and Lieutenant have faith in them and mould them into a good team... See full summary »
Categorised as a British World War II propaganda film this less known example is a superb work of morale-boosting films from mid World War 2. Well written and directed the film has a simple... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
In the opening scenes, the RAF pilots who are being briefed are from No. 501 Squadron. The Spitfires are carrying the markings "SD", which were carried by No. 501 "Mandrel" Squadron. At the height of the battle these pilots would have been flying the Hawker Hurricane instead of the Spitfire. The squadron had fought in the Battle or France before the evacuation of the BEF at Dunkirk at the end of May 1940. The squadron then moved to RAF Kenley, from where they fought the Battle of Britain. See more »
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 »
This film was released in the USA within two weeks of Leslie Howard's death in June 1943. The plane Howard was flying in was shot down over the Bay of Biscay.
Leslie Howard produced and directed this biography of R.J. Mitchell as well as starring in the film. This biography is also part propaganda and part documentary as Howard shows us Britain's advances in aviation going into World War II.
The cast is quite good, with David Niven as Crisp especially solid. Rosamund John plays the ever-patient wife. Also good are Roland Culver as Commander Bride, Toni Edgar-Bruce as Lady Houston, Anne Firth as Harper, Derrick De Marney as Jefferson, and Howard's daughter, Leslie Ruth Howard, in her only film appearance as Nurse Kennedy.
This film is hugely important because it is Leslie Howard's final film appearance but also because it documents the development of the famous Spitfire, without which Britain might have fallen to Germany.
This is a wonderful film.
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