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Spitfire 944 (2006)

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In 2005, an 83 year-old World War II pilot views 16mm footage of his 1944 Spitfire crash for the first time.


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Cast overview:
William Lorton ... Himself - Narrator
James R. Savage ... Himself
Barbara Savage ... Herself
Paul V. Lorton Sr. ... Himself
John S. Blyth ... Himself - USAF retired 1968 (as Lt Col. John S. Blyth)
Robert James Dixon ... Himself
Kermit Bliss ... Himself
Jason R. Savage ... Himself


In 2005, an 83 year-old World War II pilot views 16mm footage of his 1944 Spitfire crash for the first time.

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Fourteen minutes, thirty seconds...and sixty-one years.


Documentary | Short




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Release Date:

January 2007 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

Nicely Done.
5 November 2013 | by See all my reviews

William Lorton's dad was an American flight surgeon at an English air base during the war. He sent a good deal of movie footage home where, in the post-war world, it mostly remained in the closet. After Dad's death in 1995, Lorton pried into the footage and noticed a lengthy shot of a Spitfire with American marking making a wheels-up landing, followed by shots of men standing around the wrecked airplane. The Spitfire had a number on the tail fin, 944.

Lorton was able to locate the pilot and interview him before showing him the film and giving him a copy. The pilot, Blythe, having no idea the footage existed, was comfortable in front of Lorton's cameras telling the tale of his duties and of that particular mission in 1944. Lorton then springs the film on him and runs it on a screen in the living room. Blythe, in his understated way, is clearly amazed that the incident was captured on film. I would perhaps have been better if there weren't a close up of Blythe's face when viewing the film for the first time. It's as if Lorton were waiting for his subject to being weeping. But the old fellow maintains his dignity.

Nice job. It makes the viewer wonder what it feels like to watch a film of yourself, of which you were completely unaware, doing something exciting and dangerous sixty years ago.

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