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 <email@example.com>
Two of the replicas (the "1910 Bristol Boxkite" and the "1911 Roe IV Triplane") built for the film still fly across the English countryside as both are preserved in the "Shuttleworth Collection" based at Old Warden, Bedfordshire. See more »
The Germans are introduced with the song "Deutschland, Deutschland über alles" ("Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit") which became the national anthem in 1922. In 1910, the imperial anthem "Heil dir im Siegerkranz" had the same melody as Britain's "God Save the King" and America's "My Country Tis of Thee." However, "Deutschland" was already a well-known song, and in any case it is heard by the audience, not the characters. This distinctly German song is a deliberate choice for the scene, as playing the "God Save" melody for Germans would be extremely confusing to a modern audience. See more »
Few films there are ineed that I would be willing to pay a lot to have on DVD, but this certainly is!
In my book it rates with Tati's best, and he's tops!
The idea of making a film about aircraft was not new, I guess, but to do it such manner is still unique! Who would make a film
about an air-race between London and Paris, and do it as a comedy, with almost perfect dialogue, details and acting, but the British?
A number of vintage aircraft (circa 1909) were repaired/constructed
and flown for the flight sequencies, from the minuscle Demoiselle (the replica too small to have a male pilot!) via big, boxkite-like Cody's, inspired by Farmans to the Antoinette, which was 100% original!
As in any slapstick film there are villains (Terry Thomas, and Eric Sykes), pompous Germans, elegant Italians, flirting Frenchmen and the honest guy, of course!
Liking both British humour and aircraft, plus the good acting, the clever and exciting cinematography, and the excellent directing from Mr Annikin I can't but smile!
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