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Spitfire (1942)

The First of the Few (original title)
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.

Director:

Leslie Howard

Writers:

Henry C. James (original story), Katherine Strueby (original story) (as Kay Strueby) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leslie Howard ... R.J. Mitchell
David Niven ... Geoffrey Crisp
Rosamund John ... Diana Mitchell
Roland Culver ... Commander Bride
Anne Firth Anne Firth ... Miss Harper
David Horne ... Mr. Higgins
J.H. Roberts ... Sir Robert McLean
Derrick De Marney ... Squadron Leader Jefferson
Rosalyn Boulter Rosalyn Boulter ... Mabel Lovesay
Herbert Cameron Herbert Cameron ... MacPherson
Toni Edgar-Bruce Toni Edgar-Bruce ... Lady Houston (as Toni Edgar Bruce)
Gordon McLeod Gordon McLeod ... Major Buchan
George Skillan George Skillan ... Mr. Royce
Erik Freund Erik Freund ... Messerschmitt
Fritz Wendhausen 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 {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Italian | German

Release Date:

14 September 1942 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Spitfire See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Leslie Howard's daughter, Leslie Ruth Howard, appears as Nurse Kennedy. See more »

Goofs

When the Spitfire squadron is returning early in the movie, the "Skipper" is coming in and the markings on the airplane are "SD" "L" ... after he crashes (no flap landing), the markings are "SD" "E" ... See more »

Quotes

Lady Houston: Nobody seems to be worrying much about our country these days. But, I'm doing my best to make them.
Reginald J. Mitchell: Yes, so I see.
Lady Houston: They won't believe me. But, I can see something. I can see England in danger. We've got to be strong on land and on sea.
Reginald J. Mitchell: And in the air!
Lady Houston: What? What?
Reginald J. Mitchell: And in the air.
Lady Houston: Fiddlesticks. What can we do in the air except fly at ridiculous speeds? Besides it isn't natural to fly. We're not birds.
Reginald J. Mitchell: You're not a fish; but, you've got a yacht.
Lady Houston: That sounds rude.
Reginald J. Mitchell: It wasn't intended to be, I assure...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

DVD version has a scene involving the British Schneider team visiting Italy for the flying competition. Scene involves Crisp 'chatting up' an Italian lady in a gondola. See more »

Connections

Featured in Leslie Howard: The Man Who Gave a Damn (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Der kleine Rekrut
(uncredited)
Music by Friedrich Wilhelm Kücken
Arranged by Roy Douglas
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Leslie Howard, produced, directed and starred!
22 May 2000 | by Ron-181See all my reviews

A fine movie biography about the designer of the World War II Spitfire. Strong performances are given by Mr. Howard and David Niven. Although it seems dated particularly with the black and white film, it is none the less worth your time to preview this movie. Leslie Howard was killed in an airplane crash shortly after finishing this film.


14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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