Ken Annakin's large-canvas comedy Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines is set in 1910. In order to boost circulation of his newspaper, Lord Rawnsley (Robert Morley) offers 10,000 pounds to the first person who can fly across the English Channel. A huge number of hopefuls enter the contest, including the scheming Sir Percy Ware-Armitage ...
Ken Annakin's large-canvas comedy Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines is set in 1910. In order to boost circulation of his newspaper, Lord Rawnsley (Robert Morley) offers 10,000 pounds to the first person who can fly across the English Channel. A huge number of hopefuls enter the contest, including the scheming Sir Percy Ware-Armitage (Terry-Thomas), who, with the help of his henchman Courtney (Eric Sykes), attempts to sabotage the other entries. There is also a love triangle featuring Orvil Newton (Stuart Whitman) and Richard Mays (James Fox) competing for the heart of Patricia Rawnsley (Sarah Miles). Perry Seibert, Rovi
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Feb 25, 2010
Before Overhead Compartments Were Invented
TITLE: Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines; or, how I flew from London to Paris in 25 hours and 11 minutes
GENRE: Big Cast Comedy about pre-WWI Aviation
CAST: Stuart Whitman, Sara Miles, James Fox, Gert Frobe (Auric from Goldfinger), Robert Morely, Terry Thomas, Irina Demick, Red Skelton and Benny Hill
PLOT: To increase circulation and aid in Britain 'ruling the skies', a London newspaper Publisher organises a race from London across the English Channel to Paris in 1910. The publisher's daughter experiences dual attractions (to the American and machines but not her 'fiance'). Amid mayhem and sabotage, a recurring love interest of the French aviator appears to be the first septuplets which were separated at
birth. You'll love Gert Frobe's trumpetless trumpet playing. And boss, da Planes! da Planes, all real replicas built from original schematics.
A mid sixties, spend the money on production and the theaters will fill up effort by 20th Cent Fox.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT: 7.5 of 10 (The redeeming value to take it higher are the keystone kopish Benny hill fire department chases and also his typical changing booths at the beach scenes. And the intro Red Skelton antics about all previous generations of man wanting to fly. For these two pieces, the puzzle is worth persuing)
ADDED DVD BONUS: The schematics for the machines are included if you desire to build one. Extensive behind the scenes photos and stories., especially how Whitman and Miles got along.