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The First of the Few

The First of the Few

Leslie Howard (1942)

U Certificate
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Our Score
Offered contracts and any number of enticing star roles after Gone with the Wind, Leslie Howard chose to leave Hollywood and return to England to make films designed to boost wartime morale. Here, he directs and stars as visionary aircraft designer RJ Mitchell, the father of the Spitfire. The fine cast includes Rosamund John as his wife and David Niven as the test pilot, while William Walton's score sums up an entire era of flying pictures. It was Howard's final screen performance: his plane was shot down in 1943 on a mission that immediately became shrouded in mystery - one that has never been explained satisfactorily.


Biopic of aeronautical engineer RJ Mitchell, whose revolutionary ideas earned acclaim in the 1920s. While holidaying in Germany after Hitler's rise to power, he begins to suspect war is inevitable and a new kind of aircraft will be needed to protect Britain - leading him to design the Spitfire. Directed by and starring Leslie Howard, with David Niven and Rosamund John.

Cast & Crew

RJ Mitchell Leslie Howard
Geoffrey Crisp David Niven
Diana Mitchell Rosamund John
Commander Bride Roland Culver
Miss Harper Anne Firth
Higgins David Horne
Sir Robert MacLean John H Roberts
Squadron leader Jefferson Derrick de Marney
Mabel Livesey Rosalyn Boulter
Director Leslie Howard
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Other Information

Language: English Black and White Theatrical distributor: General Film Dist Ltd Available on: Available on video, DVD and BluRay


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