Spitfire (1942)

Free on Archive.org, Spitfire (1942), which was the wartime feature-film story of the life and work of Stoke-on-Trent’s Reginald Mitchell — who designed the Spitfire.

It’s a very grainy and poor copy, presumably dug out of the archive of some U.S. TV station, having fallen into the public domain in the USA. But it’s free. Though know that the USA version was cut down to 90 minutes, while the UK version runs 118 minutes.

If you have some spare cash, there was a Blu-ray disc some years ago, using the movie’s British title The First of the Few, which was “digitally restored” (see above picture) and the full 118 minute version. One buyer on Amazon UK comments “don’t try to save a few quid with the unrestored one. The quality of the picture on the re-mastered edition is superb”.

It seems another good source for a locally-flavoured graphic novel, which could have the first three chapters set in Stoke-on-Trent, and later flashbacks. It might also be the basis of a new feature-film of his life, this time with mention of his Stoke-on-Trent background (which is totally ignored in the film) in Butt Lane.

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