1164. SPITFIRE (The First of the Few) (1942-England). With LESLIE HOWARD, DAVID NIVEN. Produced and directed by LESLIE HOWARD. Although he was the son of Hungarian immigrants, Leslie Howard, the distinguished British actor, seemed to be more English than any of his full-blooded countrymen. During the 1930s and early 40′ the blonde, blue-eyed, dapper Howard delighted audiences with his deft and charming performances in films mad both in Hollywood and his homeland. As England look up arms against Hitler, Howard returned there to become one of the country’s most active producer-director-actors. Spitfire is one of his last films, and he stars as R.J. Mitchel the man who developed the Spitfire, an ace fighter plane that became one of the Allies’ most proficient weapon during the war. Howard portrays Mitchell as a prophet and a hero, who back in the 1320s saw the need to planes that could fly like birds. Unfortunately, he had to contend with the conservative stuffed shirts in the industry, who were unwilling to share his vision. His story is presented in flashback, as told by his old test pilot (charmingly played by David Niven). Spitfire is a taut and stirring tale of dreams and dedication, with a top notch aerial photography. Ironically, Howard himself died a year after the release of the film, shot down by the Nazis while flying between Lisbon and London. 89 minutes. Adventure