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J. Lee Thompson
In the early days of the 20th century, a British Newspaper offers a prize for the winner of a cross channel air race which brings flyers from all over the world. There are many sub-plots as the flyers jockey for position and the affections of various women. Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
An interesting collection of early aircraft in a lighthearted comedy. Set in the early 1900s, an "international" air race, from England to France, and of course across the English Channel, was proposed, ostensibly to advance aviation. Naturally, the film presents cultural/national stereotypes, but not maliciously.
Spoilers in the following.
One stereotype is the German team leader, played be Gert Frobe, who is so systematized that when his pilot is sick, feels that simply following the instruction books would enable him to fly the German entry. And it works, for a while. (Aside: taking off and guiding such ragwings could possibly work, but textbooks or no, the landings probably would be worth watching on something like America's Funniest Home Videos.) His antics, as his aircraft gets into trouble, thumbing frantically through his manuals, is classic.
The very end of the film (not counting the Red Skelton epilogue)is amusing. When it was filmed, the contrast of the early aircraft with modern jets was rather neat, but watching those antique jets now is rather quaint.
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