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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.

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
... R.J. Mitchell
... Geoffrey Crisp
... Diana Mitchell
... Commander Bride
Anne Firth ... Miss Harper
... Mr. Higgins
... Sir Robert McLean
... 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


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

14 September 1942 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Spitfire  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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 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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[Last lines]
Geoffrey Crisp: [Sotto voce, to the heavens] Mitch, Mitch, they can't take the Spitfires Mitch. They can't take 'em.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

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

Soundtracks

La Marcia Reale
(uncredited)
Music by Giuseppe Gabetti
Arranged by Roy Douglas
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User Reviews

 
Battle of Britain pilots as extras
7 July 2006 | by See all my reviews

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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