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THE FIRST OF THE FEW (1942)

A newsreel sets the scene for summer 1940, showing Nazi advances in Europe with England facing invasion and aerial attacks on the island increasing.  On 15 September 1940, during the Battle of Britain, RAF Squadron Leader Geoffrey Crisp (David Niven), the station commander of a Spitfire squadron, recounts the story of how his friend, R.J. Mitchell (Leslie Howard) designed the Spitfire fighter.  His pilots listen as Crisp begins with the 1922 Schneider Trophy competition, where Mitchell began his most important work, designing high speed aircraft.  While watching seagulls with his binoculars, he envisions a new shape for aircraft in the future.  Crisp, an ex-First World War pilot seeking work, captivates Mitchell with his enthusiasm and the designer promises to hire him as test pilot should his design ever go into production.  Facing opposition from official sources, Mitchell succeeds in creating a series of highly successful seaplane racers, eventually winning the Schneider Trophy outright for Great Britain.

 

After a visit to Germany in the late 1930s and a chance meeting with leading German aircraft designer Willy Messerschmitt, Mitchell resolves to build the fastest and deadliest fighter aircraft.  Convincing Henry Royce of Rolls-Royce that a new engine, eventually to become the famous Rolls-Royce Merlin is needed, Mitchell has the powerplant he requires. Faced the devastating news that he has only one year to live and battling against failing health, Mitchell dies as the first prototype Supermarine Spitfire takes to the skies.  Crisp ends his account when the squadron is scrambled to counter a German attack, voicing a thanks to Mitchell for creating the Spitfire. 


DVD-R IS 118 MINUTES LONG.  IN VERY GOOD QUALITY.  IN ENGLISH WITH NO SUBTITLES

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