Spitfire (The First of the Few) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Spitfire (The First of the Few) Reviews

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½ February 22, 2018
A must see for all WWII aviation enthusiasts.
February 22, 2018
British propaganda at it's finest
February 22, 2018
...with great performances. Certainly worth the watch, though a restored print would be nice.
½ February 22, 2018
FINE WW2 ACTIONER, NICELY DONE BY LESLIE HOWARD
February 22, 2018
good historical drama
February 22, 2018
A charming wartime propaganda piece about the design of the first Spitfire. Nice performances from Leslie Howard, David Niven and Rosamund John and a thrilling dogfight at the end.
February 22, 2018
A surprising look at 1930's German aviation prep for upcoming war, unsuspected by the West. British designer Mitchell realizes that glider pilot training has direct implications for fighter staffing, and he throws every effort into getting a plane that can keep up with Arado, Messerschmitt, Junkers and the rest.
½ February 22, 2018
This film is a sort of "Battle of Britain: The Overture". Made during World War II, it suffers a bit from its need to fulfill a propaganda brief. However, it is also a brilliant treatment of the story of how RJ Mitchell's part in the race for the Schneider Trophy sort of accidentally spawned his Supermarine Spitfire. The more numerous Hawker Hurricane's contribution gets airbrushed out, but then the Hurricane has had to get used to that a LOT in the last 70 years, so no surprise there.

Poignantly it was one of Leslie Howard's last films before the plane in which he was travelling was shot down.
February 22, 2018
workmanlike, and pretty uninspired telling of how Mitchell designed the Spitfire, with little basis in historical fact... Mitchell actually died of cancer not overwork. But a great score by William Walton.
February 22, 2018
This movie is a well done biography/drama of British Aircraft designer R.J. Mitchell. In spite of this movie's name "Spitfire", the movie also covers Mitchell's other designs in the great airplane races of the 1920s and his winning of the Schneider Trophy. It does cover the creation of the Spitfire when the rising of Nazi Germany becomes immanent and that Britain will soon be drawn into another war. Performances by the cast are excellent. Leslie Howard in his final film does a great job of depicting Mitchell and he recieved excellent support from the talented David Niven as Mitchell's chief pilot.
½ February 22, 2018
Wartime propaganda; but very watchable wartime propaganda. The film tells a slightly fictionalised account of the work of Reginald Joseph Mitchell, designer of the Supermarine Spitfire. The film is significant because it contains extremely rare footage of three planes, and because it was Leslie Howard's last appearance on screen, he died a year later on when the plane in which he was travelling was shot down.
February 22, 2018
It's funny to see the British wartime war movie-- much less forcefully positive than American ones. Probably something to do with palpable impending doom. The depiction of pre-war Germans and Italians is... interesting.
February 22, 2018
Sep 2009 excellent film :)
February 22, 2018
Biopic of Spitfire inventor R J Mitchell told as wartime propaganda. Howard headlines, but David Niven steals the film as close friend and pilot Geoff Crisp. Patriotic stuff!
February 22, 2018
Sad in the way that Mitchell saw aircraft as a way of uniting the world and in the end they became another way of waging war. Was also sad that he knowingly literally worked himself to death to get the spitfire airworthy to combat the growing nazi menace. After watching the film "The Boy in Striped Pyjamas" earlier this week you can see why it was so vital to build up the UK's air defences.
½ February 22, 2018
Even though Niven was taken out of the war to make this film to help raise the spirit of the nation, the propaganda is not too much in-your-face and it does not negate the biopic story, one that is both well written and interesting.
½ February 22, 2018
Made halfway through World War Two, it is quite obvious now that this film was intended as a piece of propaganda, to bolster the spirits of a beleagured people caught in the midst of a horrible war. However, that said, a great deal of it stays true to the facts.

R.J. Mitchell was a brilliant aircraft designer, who in his early 20's designed a racing aircraft for the British firm Supermarine, that would eventually win them the Schneider Trophy, a very coveted seaplane race award in the early part of the 20th century. His design was revolutionary and far ahead of its time, and when the threat of another world war began to loom, his design was transformed into the legendary fighter aircraft, the Spitfire, which many credit as being the godsend Britain needed to defeat the German Luftwaffe in their bid to bomb England into submission.

Basically this film tells his story, through the eyes of his friend and trusted test pilot, Geoffrey Crisp, portrayed by David Niven, telling a squadron of Spitfire pilots the history of their aircraft right there in the field, literally in between scrambles. In this movie R.J. Mitchell is portrayed by actor Leslie Howard, who also produced and directed. Apparently Mitchell's wife and son were on the set for most of the production of the film.

The facts are bent slightly, to make Mitchell's contribution seem more patriotic than they actually were, which was unneccessary. He was suffering from colon cancer, and had already had one operation to try to cure it when the cancer surfaced again, and the second time it was fatal. The film shows him working himself to death, trying to get the Spitfire fighter right before he would be too ill to continue, but that is not what really happened. He had already completed the final Spitfire design long before his death, and was in fact working on a new bomber aircraft in the last years of his life. In the movie his illness is never named, and the doctor even tells him that if he rests and stops working he will live, which again was untrue. The man had cancer, had an operation to try to stop it, and the cancer recurred - those are the facts. Mitchell died in his 40's.

Despite its flaws, this is a fascinating film which shows the development of one of the most revolutionary and beloved aircraft of the Second World War, and one which certainly did save Britain from the yoke of Nazi tyranny.
February 22, 2018
Great to hear the story behind such an iconic and inspirational machine - the Spitfire.
½ February 22, 2018
A must see for all WWII aviation enthusiasts.
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