Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines

From Academic Kids

The 1965 comedy film Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines or How I Flew from London to Paris in 25 Hours 11 Minutes is set in 1910, at the dawn of aviation when Lord Rawnsley, an English Press magnate, puts up the prize money for an air race from London to Paris to prove that Britain is "Number 1 in the air".


Sarah Miles plays the daughter of Lord Rawnsley (Robert Morley) whose favourite to win his race is none other than his daughter's fiance, (James Fox). An international cast plays the array of international contestants, most of whom live up to their national stereotypes, including the fanatical Prussian (Gert Frobe) and the brash American (Stuart Whitman) who falls for Lord Rawnsley's daughter. However the main entertainment comes from the amusing dialogue and charcterisations and the daring aerial stunts, with a dash of heroism and gentlemanly conduct thrown in for good measure at the end. Terry-Thomas played the bad guy, the oily Sir Percival Ware-Armitage, who with the help of his stooge Courtney (Eric Sykes), sabotaged other planes or drugged their pilots, only to get his fitting comeuppance in the end.

The original screenplay, written by Ken Annakin and Jack Davies, was nominated for an Academy Award. Ken Annakin also directed the film.

The film is notable for its use of specially constructed replicas of monoplanes and biplanes flown by stunt pilots (in one case a female aviator). If made today, many of these shots would likely be done with computer animation to save costs -- thus the movie holds up because of the added flavour of realism and the attention to detail in the models of the vintage planes, although some of the flying stunts were achieved through the use of cleverly disguised wires.

The success of the film prompted Annakin to write (again with Jack Davies) and direct another race movie, Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies (aka Monte Carlo or Bust), released in 1969, this time involving vintage cars with the story set around the Monte Carlo Rally.


It featured a host of stars, mostly in cameo roles, among them:


Template:Movie-stubde:Die tollkühnen Männer in ihren fliegenden Kisten sv:Dessa fantastiska män i sina flygande maskiner (1965)


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