You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The First of the Few

In interpreting the life of R.J. Mitchell, who designed the Spitfire plane, Leslie Howard's work ranks among his finest performances. And it is an epic picture.

With:
Leslie Howard David Niven Rosamund John Roland Culver Anne Firth Tonie Edgar Bruce

In interpreting the life of R.J. Mitchell, who designed the Spitfire plane, Leslie Howard’s work ranks among his finest performances. And it is an epic picture.

Film [from an original story by Henry C. James and Kay Strueby] portrays Mitchell’s heartbreaking efforts to get his series of aircraft models accepted. His work was looked upon as too revolutionary, and the reluctance of Whitehall to sponsor anything new was most discouraging.

For big scenes there is the reproduction of a race for the Schneider Cup. For sweet domestic felicity there’s Rosamund John as the wife of Mitchell. For a magnificent patriotic gesture there is Toni Edgar Bruce as Lady Houston, who contributed generously to the financing of the inventor. Finally (or should it be firstly?) there’s Howard’s young airman friend in the person of David Niven, as a lovable philanderer who shares the other’s vicissitudes and glories.

The First of the Few

UK

Production: British Aviation. Director Leslie Howard; Producer Leslie Howard; Screenplay Miles Malleson, Anatole de Grunwald, Miles Malleson; Camera Georges Perinal; Editor Douglas Myers; Music William Walton; Art Director Paul Sheriff

Crew: (B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1942. Running time: 118 MIN.

With: Leslie Howard David Niven Rosamund John Roland Culver Anne Firth Tonie Edgar Bruce

More Film

  • 'The Party's Just Beginning' Review: Karen

    Tribeca Film Review: 'The Party's Just Beginning'

    In interpreting the life of R.J. Mitchell, who designed the Spitfire plane, Leslie Howard’s work ranks among his finest performances. And it is an epic picture. Film [from an original story by Henry C. James and Kay Strueby] portrays Mitchell’s heartbreaking efforts to get his series of aircraft models accepted. His work was looked upon […]

  • Kin James Franco

    'Kin' First Trailer Shows a Villainous James Franco in Sci-Fi Thriller

    In interpreting the life of R.J. Mitchell, who designed the Spitfire plane, Leslie Howard’s work ranks among his finest performances. And it is an epic picture. Film [from an original story by Henry C. James and Kay Strueby] portrays Mitchell’s heartbreaking efforts to get his series of aircraft models accepted. His work was looked upon […]

  • Taron Egerton Jamie Foxx

    Taron Egerton-Jamie Foxx's Tights-Free 'Robin Hood' Closes CinemaCon

    In interpreting the life of R.J. Mitchell, who designed the Spitfire plane, Leslie Howard’s work ranks among his finest performances. And it is an epic picture. Film [from an original story by Henry C. James and Kay Strueby] portrays Mitchell’s heartbreaking efforts to get his series of aircraft models accepted. His work was looked upon […]

  • Tribeca Film Festival Awards 2018: 'Diane,'

    Jeffrey Wright, Alia Shawkat, 'Diane' Win Awards at Tribeca Film Festival

    In interpreting the life of R.J. Mitchell, who designed the Spitfire plane, Leslie Howard’s work ranks among his finest performances. And it is an epic picture. Film [from an original story by Henry C. James and Kay Strueby] portrays Mitchell’s heartbreaking efforts to get his series of aircraft models accepted. His work was looked upon […]

  • Armando Iannucci

    'Veep' Creator Armando Iannucci to Direct 'In Too Deep' for Levantine Films (EXCLUSIVE)

    In interpreting the life of R.J. Mitchell, who designed the Spitfire plane, Leslie Howard’s work ranks among his finest performances. And it is an epic picture. Film [from an original story by Henry C. James and Kay Strueby] portrays Mitchell’s heartbreaking efforts to get his series of aircraft models accepted. His work was looked upon […]

  • Blake Jenner’s Film ‘Billy Boy’ Gets

    Blake Jenner’s Film ‘Billy Boy’ Gets Release Date, Trailer (Watch)

    In interpreting the life of R.J. Mitchell, who designed the Spitfire plane, Leslie Howard’s work ranks among his finest performances. And it is an epic picture. Film [from an original story by Henry C. James and Kay Strueby] portrays Mitchell’s heartbreaking efforts to get his series of aircraft models accepted. His work was looked upon […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content