Film

Leslie Howard, Propagandist and Patriot

When I began film-going in the 1940s and 1950s Leslie Howard was still an important figure. The story of his mysterious death when in April 1943 the unarmed airliner flying from Lisbon to London was shot down by German JU88s was repeatedly discussed in newspaper articles, each one suggesting a new explanation for the tragedy. Had the actor-director been mistaken for British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who was also travelling at that time? That was Ian Colvin’s solution in his book Flight 777. Churchill himself thought it might be true. The Howard family had its own opinion. Leslie Howard had…

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