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The First Of The Few [Blu-ray]


Price: £20.45 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

The First Of The Few [Blu-ray] + The Man Who Never Was [Blu-ray] [1956] + Dam Busters (Special Anniversary) Edition)  [1955] [1945] [Blu-ray]
Price For All Three: £50.11

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Product details

  • Actors: Leslie Howard, David Niven, Rosamund John
  • Directors: Leslie Howard
  • Format: Dolby, PAL
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Odeon Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 30 April 2012
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007R3RNB2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,581 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Filmed during the dark days of 1942, this is the immortal story of the Spitfire which had helped to win the Battle of Britain the previous year. Leslie Howard stars as R.J. Mitchell, the inventor of the Spitfire, whose aircraft designs were turned down for funding by Whitehall because they were too revolutionary. A chance meeting with Messerschmitt in the early 1930's gives Mitchell the inspiration to build Britain's fastest and deadliest fighter plane. But first he must find a devil-may-care pilot to risk his life on the test flights. Salvation comes in the form of Geoffrey Crisp (David Niven), an out of work veteran fighter pilot from the First World War. Together they build the aircraft that so many will owe their lives to. However, as Mitchell strives to perfect his fighter plane, he is rocked by the news that he has only one-year to live unless he stops working. His stark choice is to save himself or save his country.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Gisli Jokull Gislason VINE VOICE on 7 July 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What a beautiful and gripping story about the lead designer of the Spitfire - Reginald Joseph Mitchell. It is a propaganda movie from 1942, a very troubled time for England, when England was in great need for heros and Mitchell fits the bill, an eccentric, calm, pipe smoking, public school and very amiable sort of fellow.

The story is captivating and very believable, a one mans struggle to make the perfect areoplane, then the perfect fighter. It is so good you want to believe everything is true - and even if it is riddled with historical inaccuracies - you have to remember that it is just the film that was needed at the time.

The leading actors are most loveable, David Niven is at his best and has some rather convincing drunken scenes but it is Leslie Howard of Gone with the Wind fame as Mitchell that captures the audience. This was Howards last film as an actor since he was later in a plane shot down with the Germans. David Niven continued to contribute to the war effort both in films and as a commando in the Normandy landings.

The transfer to DVD is not that great, the film is a bit worn with time but there is no serious damage, also it is in a 4:3 aspect so no wide screen expectations. But it is a nice lovable film, very well acted with plenty of human interest and more so when it was released to a nation at war with very few happy prospects and in dept to the few.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Eleni TOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 July 2010
Format: DVD
This is a wonderful, biographical film about the life and work of Reginald Joseph Mitchell, the British aviation designer who created among other innovative aeroplanes the Spitfire. It tells the story of R. J. Mitchell from the time he was a dreamer who wanted to create the perfect bird-like plane until the time he created the Spitfire, working himself to death. The film has some inaccuracies and being a patriotic film it gives a slightly more heroic and romantic presentation of Mitchell's life, being very close to the truth nonetheless.

Produced, directed and performed by Leslie Howard, this film is a fine example of Howard's significant work helping the Second World War effort, that according to some theories lead to his death, when his plane was shot down by the Luftwaffe in 1943.

This film also known as "Spitfire" in the US is not only a great movie but a priceless document of aviation history. It includes rare footage of another of Mitchell's innovative planes the Supermarine S.4, and also many real life British fighter pilots make cameo appearances in the beginning of the film.

In total a fascinating film, with excellent performances by Leslie Howard as R. J. Mitchell and David Niven as test pilot Geoffrey Crisp.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Andy_atGC TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 May 2012
Format: DVD
This is a somewhat fictionalised version of the story of how the Spitfire came into being.

It owed its design to aircraft intended to compete in the various air trials that became common in the between-war years from the early 1920's through to the mid-30's. The original design was for a seaplane, a type now rarely seen and which is not currently built. That the design was successful in winning the prize outright after three consecutive wins, awarded its designer R J Mitchell with wide recognition.

At that time, most light aircraft shared a popular bi-plane design where there were two stacked or slightly offset front wings. The planes tended to be wooden framed and covered with stretched, treated fabric which was stitched to the frame. The Seafire, the original version of the Spitfire was very different in that it was metal framed, with a thin metal surface which was riveted to the frame and it had a single front wing. The design was much stronger and, when the Ministry of Defence was looking for new aircraft to replace its fleet of bi-plane fighters, most of which were little different than those used during WW1, the Spitfire was born as a land-based aircraft, made slightly larger and altered to accommodate its weapons. The design was put forward and another competing design was that for the Hurricane.

Because of the fame and wide recognition of the Spitfire, it had been incorrectly credited as being responsible for success during the Battle of Britain (the Hurricane outnumbered the Spitfire by more than 2:1 in sorties during the Battle). It won wide esteem with the British public who gave up domestic utensils and equipment in the belief that they would help build the much-loved planes - very little of the metal collected was actually used, only the aluminium.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By N. D. Jervis on 26 Aug 2006
Format: DVD
The first of the few, produced in the middle of World War II pays tribute to the small team designing and building the Spitfire. The film tells a simple story about the principle character RJ Mitchell and his fight to get the Spitfire designed and built in an essentially honest and none jingoistic way. This is not a historical documentary and facts have been altered or left out. However, it is a film I would recommend to all, not just aviation buffs and it would make an ideal rainy Saturday afternoon film for Dad and the kids.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. Waughington on 14 July 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Whilst this is obviously a wartime propaganda flick, it is still an enjoyable if highly romanticised view of the development of the Spitfire and the life of its designer RJ Mitchell.

Nevertheless, this is still an entertaining movie that is worth buying and still bears watching 60+ years later.
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