Cowart's Common Room
Angels One Five

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I watched last evening on catch-up (why do they never put such films on in the evening?) a very old (1952) film, 'Angels One-Five', about the RAF and a fighter station in 1940. All the big name actors - Jack Hawkins, John Gregson, Michael Denison - from that era were in it and giving wonderful performances but of course it was the aeroplanes and the Churchillian Battle of Britain that stole the show. ('Angels' in the colourful jargon of the time refers to altitude in 1,000s of feet, 'Angels One-Five' being 15,000 feet.)

It was one of several films of that sort - 'Malta Story' with Alec Guinness was another - that awoke in me a love for aeroplanes and flying which led to my building model planes in my teenage years and then going on (thanks to an Air Ministry still obsessed long after the event by a shortage of pilots) to learn to fly, though the planes on which we learned bore as much relation to a Hurricane or Spitfire as a Robin Reliant to an 'E' type Jaguar.

The film paints an excellent picture of the social mores of the time: the stiff upper lip, the straight back, the sense of fair play, a right and wrong way to behave. Was this an accurate picture? Certainly although I can imagine young people today being just as brave (as indeed they demonstrate regularly) it is impossible to imagine them in this portrayal of the 1940s. I also wondered how a German fighter station might be portrayed? Did the Germans have the same restricted social norms as we did? Or the French for that matter.

Anyway we have moved on. Jack Hawkins were he still alive might be out of a job. Only Alec Guinness seems (or rather seemed) infinitely adaptable.

Now with the rain the apples are swelling, though my greengages are still hard. Many are rotting on the tree. I don't suppose that at my age I shall now be called up to defend Britain in the skies over Kent. For which I am most extravagantly grateful. Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 14th Aug 2018 - 09:15AM   Posted by Fennie   Angels One Five Comments: 3

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Fairy Nuff's Avatar I have a fondness for these old films myself, especially the ones with David Niven in them - not a crush - he shared a surname with my Granny and therefore her Nephew Sqn Ldr John Brown Niven DFC (and bar) my second cousin who flew during the Battle of Britain, amongst others. It gave the films a sort of personal connection which made them more interesting to a young girl - something none of my friends get really.
It also gave me a fondness for the Hurricane and Spitfire which they could understand even less Laughing

Posted by: Fairy Nuff on 14th Aug 2018 at 11:03AM

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Withy Brook's Avatar They were very much part of my past!

Posted by: Withy Brook on 14th Aug 2018 at 07:15PM

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Camilla's Avatar I love the old films but not the westerns, think my HL would love that film Fennie will see if I can get it on amazon. He was an amazing actor wasn't he Jack Hawkings so too Gregson and Guinness..

Niven was good too wasn't he FN another amazing actor

Posted by: Camilla on 16th Aug 2018 at 11:16AM

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