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The First Of The Few [Blu-ray]

Leslie Howard , David Niven , Leslie Howard    Universal, suitable for all   Blu-ray
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
Price: £14.71 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Frequently Bought Together

The First Of The Few [Blu-ray] + The Man Who Never Was [Blu-ray] [1956] + The Dam Busters (Special Anniversary) Edition) [Blu-ray] [1955] [1945]
Price For All Three: £37.73

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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: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007R3RNB2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,969 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

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.

Product Description

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
62 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The father of the Spitfire in a loveable light 7 July 2007
By Gisli Jokull Gislason VINE VOICE
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A WONDERFUL FILM AND A HISTORIC TREASURE 25 July 2010
By Eleni TOP 500 REVIEWER
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First of the Few 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 18 Dec 2012
By Zallow
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
A classic movie brilliantly remasterd for Blu-Ray, a must by for any fans of the film and anyone that loves the story of the RAF
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars aka 'Spitfire' 25 July 2011
Format:DVD
Got this film without any expectation. At first I was nonplussed by the opening scenes and feared the worst: a wartime propaganda film, even though the William Walton score boded well. However, the shakey start is made much more understandable when one realizes that the pilots are actual veteran pilots; with this knowledge, it becomes quite a charming, if not slightly jejune, scene.

The real delight is once the story reverts to 1922 - hereon and for the bulk of the film we have excellent performances from Leslie Howard as aeroplane designer R.J. Mitchell and especially from David Niven as Geoffrey Crisp, Mitchell's old school friend and soon-to-be test pilot. Howard and Niven appear to have a very good rapport on screen and the film sparkles. The supporting cast is admirable, even a cameo by Bernard Miles. The humour is quite dry and quirky ("No Englishman likes to be called 'genius'" ... "Dreadful word" ... "Isn't it?"). Niven's banter with various actresses is amusing as are his facial expressions. After one incident in the US, the nurse that attends is actually Howard's real-life daughter.

The annual race meets are also well handled and contain what is now rare actual footage of various designs that Mitchell had worked on. The treatment of the Italians is fair. Later a trip to Germany is well-handled (Germany is not all 'bad'), though the Germans are shown to be somewhat duplicitous as hubris drives them to say too much about the thirst for power and righting the Treaty of Versailles. The whole scene is invention but gives the film its impetus - hereon, Mitchell, backed by Lady Houston, is a man with a mission: to prepare Britain for coming war.

I find the film highly watchable and rewatchable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unlike the WWII pilots, could do better. 5 Dec 2012
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I'd like to know what state the original print of this film was like if this is a "digitally remastered" version. Compared to the likes of "Great Expectations", this left me distinctly disappointed. Overall, the picture has a washed-out, faded appearance and, at some points, dirt, scratches and even the odd frame judder are visible. The sound is mono but clear enough through most of the movie.
As a fan off all classic war movies, this was always going to be a welcome addition to my library. It's obviously a propaganda picture but deals quite well with the sacrifices made by "The Few" to save our civilisation. It is a good story that warrants regular retelling.
To the restorers: This movie deserves better. Try again.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful with an ironic twist
I have seen it before but wanted it in my collection of "films I will see some more times before I die". Read more
Published 9 days ago by Gunnel Arrbäck
5.0 out of 5 stars review
i have a personal interest in this film and, despite the age of it, enjoy it and think it was well made
Published 20 days ago by hope
5.0 out of 5 stars First of the Few DVD
I had a previous recording of this classic film which had developed a fault. I needed to replace it and this one was exactly what I wanted.
Published 7 months ago by Mr. Ian W. Rimmer
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this film
This film has not suffered by being converted to DVD its such an inspirational story I could watch it time and again.
Published 12 months ago by M. Hare
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good
It is now a bit dated but nice to see how it was then and how the actors were also.
Published 13 months ago by phillspain
4.0 out of 5 stars A REAL HERO
A beautiful portrayal of a REAL HERO,R.J. Mitchell,designer of the SPITFIRE,by Leslie Howard(who was murdered shortly afterwords by the cowardly bosche. Read more
Published 19 months ago by amazon.co.uk are biased,tax dodging ,cacographists
5.0 out of 5 stars Sir Reginald
If you are English and from Stoke........this is about as good as you could ever be.

To die with an idea in your eyes. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Mr. P. F. Tindall
4.0 out of 5 stars The story of the WW2 Spitfire and its designer
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... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Andy_atGC
5.0 out of 5 stars First of the Few
This film is excellent - not one hundred per cent factual - but an excellent film reminding whoever sees it of the problems created by politicians of all persuasions that the rest... Read more
Published on 7 Dec 2011 by Dekka
5.0 out of 5 stars Remembering An Iconic Aircraft
As a film, this is the story of the development of probably the most iconic aeroplane in
this countrie's avionic history, the "Spitfire". Read more
Published on 3 Sep 2011 by D. F. Ackerman
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