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Leslie Howard as RJ Mitchell in The First of the Few

Leslie Howard as RJ Mitchell in The First of the Few


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Leslie Howard as RJ Mitchell in The First of the Few

Leslie Howard (1893-1943) photographed on the film set for The First of the Few, in which he played the Spitfire designer RJ Mitchell.
1942

Mary Evans Picture Library makes available wonderful images created for people to enjoy over the centuries

Media ID 14386316

© A Flying History/The Peter Keating Aviation Photograph Collection/Mary Evans Picture Library

1942 Actors Adams Cardigan Casual Cinema Designer Filming Films Gilbert Howard Leslie Lighting Mitchell Movie Movies Pipe Played Propaganda Shirt Spitfire Stars


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> Popular Themes > Spitfire

> Posters > Movie Posters > Related Images


EDITORS COMMENTS
This black-and-white photograph captures Leslie Howard in character as RJ Mitchell, the visionary Spitfire designer, during the filming of The First of the Few in 1942. The Second World War era comes alive in this evocative image, as Howard, with a thoughtful expression, leans against a wooden set piece, his pipe clenched between his teeth, a cloud of smoke wafting in the air. The casual attire of his cardigan and shirt, with the collar open at the neck, adds to the authenticity of the scene. The First of the Few, also known as "Reach for the Sky," was a British propaganda film that celebrated the heroism and determination of RJ Mitchell and the Spitfire team during the early days of the Second World War. Howard, an accomplished actor, delivered a compelling performance in this biographical drama, which was directed by wartime filmmaker Thorold Dickinson and co-starred David Niven and Rosamund John. The photograph, taken by renowned aviation photographer Gilbert Adams, showcases the unique lighting and cinematic atmosphere of the film set. The image is a testament to the dedication and artistry of those involved in creating this important piece of wartime cinema. This photograph is a captivating glimpse into the past, offering a rare behind-the-scenes look at the making of a classic film and the man behind the iconic Spitfire aircraft.

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