Milano   9/4/2002 - 14/4/2002

Spazio Oberdan - viale Vittorio Veneto, 2

The first of the few

  1. Original Title: The first of the few
  2. Author: Henry C. James, Kay Strueby
  3. Director: Leslie Howard
  4. Starring:
    Leslie Howard,
    David Niven
  5. Production: D & P Studios, Denham per British Aviation Pictures
  6. United Kingdom
  7. 117 min.
  8. 1942

The First of the Few tells the true story of the British engineer J. R. Mitchell, from the end of the Great War to the moment he handed over the first, revolutionary Spitfire. During a spell in hospital, following a serious lung operation, Mitchell overhears a conversation between German pilots and understands that a second world war is on the doorstep. So he decides to dedicate himself wholeheartedly to designing a fighter aircraft of new concept, fast and powerful, perfect for sky battles, and he calls it the Spitfire. But the efforts to complete the airplane, undertaken by refusing to be treated for his illness, leave Mitchell no hope for survival and he dies just as he hands over the working prototype. Thus Mitchell became "the first of the few", those heroes who sacrificed their lives to save their homeland from the Nazi threat. Made in 1942, during World War II, First of the Few was spawned by British propaganda cinema. This film uses spectacular aerial sequences, set in peacetime and also during the war, to narrate the genius and heroism of Mitchell, it sings the glories of the invincible Spitfire, and declares to us the need for heroes and the certainties of a society left stunned by the horrors of war.