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First of the Few [Blu-ray]


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Product Details

  • Actors: David Niven, Leslie Howard, Rosamund John, Roland Culver, Anne Firth
  • Directors: Leslie Howard
  • Producers: The First of the Few (1942) ( Spitfire ) ( The 1st of the Few ), The First of the Few (1942), Spitfire, The 1st of the Few
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Import
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Ais
  • DVD Release Date: July 17, 2012
  • Run Time: 119.00 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007R3RNB2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #395,297 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

United Kingdom released, Blu-Ray/Region A/B/C : it WILL NOT play on regular DVD player. You need Blu-Ray DVD player to view this Blu-Ray DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby DTS-HD Master Audio ), English ( Mono ), SPECIAL FEATURES: Black & White, Interactive Menu, Remastered, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: 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. ...The First of the Few (1942) ( Spitfire ) ( The 1st of the Few )

Customer Reviews

The acting was good.
Lull
I'm not sure of the historical accuracy, but it gives a rare insight into one of history's important events, and a look at one of David Niven's early performances.
Galaxyvet
A story of a man with an idea that will save England.
rwg

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Gisli Jokull Gislason on October 6, 2010
Format: 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 by 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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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Victor Costa on June 23, 2010
Format: DVD
Leslie Howard was a brilliant talent, as is evident from this movie that he directs ant stars in , along with David Niven. Howard shows how the forsight of airplane designer Mitchell helped ensure England's air supremacy over the invading Nazis. His performance is amazing as his character's quick wit and quiet observations almost make you feel like you're inside the very mind of the man. It's quite an acting talent the Mr. Howard had. Also, ironically enough, Leslie Howard would be killed shortly after this movie was made when his airplane was shot down by Nazis. In a strange way, Leslie Howard and his character, Mitchell, shared many attributes, including great heroism in the face of great evil.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D. M. Farmbrough on November 19, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This is the archetypal war film. Part propaganda, part biopic, the story centres on the life of the Spitfire inventor, R.J.Mitchell. The version I had bore an introduction from his son which corrected some of the factual inaccuracies, but which also back up the spirit of the film and its good-natured portrayal of the inventor. Leslie Howard excels as actor,
director, and producer here, showing at the same time the vulnerability and obstinacy of a brave and clever man. Alongside Howard, Niven is a marvel, as always, playing a slightly caddish version of his usual English gentleman.
The film benefits from a decent if unremarkable score by William Walton. Stock film from real Battle Of Britain Spitfire flights lends verisimilitude, but the footage is unnecessarily scratched and dirty, bearing in mind the film was near contemporary.
"Mitch" was apparently suffering from cancer at the time he developed the Spitfire, yet this is skirted around and the word 'cancer' is never used, he is just told coyly that he might not have long to live unless he stops working. The script is typical of its time, mixing some gung-ho patriotism with some sentiment, but it has not aged badly compared to some films made
during the war.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kyran McCarthy on January 15, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Although the necessity for wartime propaganda allowed Leslie Howard to use artistic license, particularly in respect of the reference to Seagulls, the development and funding of the Spitfire, the test pilots (of which there seemed to be only one "David Niven") and R.J. Mitchell as a man, this element does not reduce the quality of the movie. Rather, it enhances the entertainment value which otherwise may have resulted in a standard documentary.
I was particularly impressed by the fact that parts of the movie were filmed on active RAF airfields. This was unique for its time and apparently due to good old Winston Churchill's strong support for the making of the movie.
As a huge yet novice Spitfire enthusiast, this movie left me with a warm glow and almost convinced me that the Hurricane never existed!
Irrespective of what may have transpired, R.J. Mitchell developed one of the worlds finest aircraft and Leslie Howard did a fine job in directing and producing this movie!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 21, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
For Aircraft buff's and those interested in the life of Mr.Mitchell;who designed the WW2 Spitfire. Shows early on developement of racing aircraft,and Mr.Mitchell's selfless sacrafice to develope a plane to counter the German threat;along with cooperation of "Rolls Royce" to develope the "Merlin",engine neccessairy for it at almost no cost;they too ,saw the threat of the German Me109.(note;this same engine built under license by Packard ;made the P-51 Mustang what it was).It is also a touching story,and very good rendition of what took place, in a generally unknown behind the scenes drama that helped save England in the Battle of Britian.Herman Gohring,when asked by Hitler;what is holding up the the launching of the invassion floatilla,(reffered to the Air supeamacy), was told the Sptitfire was supperior and could not be beaten ,in essance.One of David Nivens best performances. Rarely seen outside of England.
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