Life on a British bomber base, and the surrounding towns, from the opening days of the Battle of Britain, to the arrival of the Americans, who join in the bomber offensive. The film centres... 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 RJ 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 forge superiors weapons, so that their teammates, the gallant air-men, may go into combat with the kind of advantage they deserve." See more »
The Rolls Royce Merlin engine is not named after the character from the King Arthur legends. Rolls Royce named some of its engines after birds of prey, such as Merlin, Peregrine, Kestrel, Goshawk. See more »
[Sotto voce, to the heavens]
Mitch, Mitch, they can't take the Spitfires Mitch. They can't take 'em.
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Opening credits prologue: Zero Day September 15th, 1940 See more »
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
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