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>
The are two real vintage aircraft to be seen in this film. The first is a 1910 Deperdussin Monoplane is seen "revving-up" on the ground when we first arrive at Brookley. The second is a 1912 Blackburn 'Type D' Monoplane, which seen on the ground at Brookley and Dover (Aircraft #6) it is the one swung out of the way of the runaway 'tailess' German biplane, just after it has crashed through the back of the "Ware-Armitage" hanger. The Blackburn is flown by Mr Mac Dougall, played by Gordon Jackson. These two genuine real vintage planes are still (2016) in airworthy condition at the "Shuttleworth Collection" at Old Warden, Bedfordshire and can very occasionally be seen flying there. See more »
When Ponticelli climbs onto Newton's aircraft in flight, the stunt double performing the action has devices attached to his gloves to make gripping the landing skids much more secure. See more »
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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