69 of 71 people found the following review helpful
The father of the Spitfire in a loveable light,
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This review is from: First of the Few  [DVD] (DVD)
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.