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>
When Colonel Manfred Von Holstein and Captain Rumpelstoss are going over the aircraft controls, Lord Rawnsley drives up, and Holstein calls the crew to attention. When Rumpelstoss stands in the cockpit, he clicks his heel and falls through the airframe. As he falls, his uniform jacket slides up to his armpit. The angle changes to show Lord Rawnsley and Patricia laughing. When the camera turns back we see Rumpelstoss' feet dangling through the bottom of the plane. The camera pans up and the Captain's jacket is now back down to his waist. See more »
This was a fairly long but interesting story of an early 20th century airplane race taking place between London and Paris. The actual race only takes place for the last 45 minutes, and that's fun to watch. The terrain also is nice to view.
Before that, you get profiles of the competitors of the race. You really get the typical stereotypes of movies: the French men woo all the women; the Germans are make to look too militaristic and stupid; the English are portrayed as very stiff upper-lipped and the Italians are all too emotional, etc.
Stuart Whitman and James Fox both battle for Sarah Miles' affections and Terry Thomas has some funny lines as a villain.
I loved the airplanes in this film - really cool "flying machines," as they are labeled here. They came in all sizes and shapes. In the very beginning of the movie, they show actual footage of early flight failures and they are familiar but still fascinating. Interspiced in the actual footage are closeups of Red Skelton playing the part of some of those unsuccessful fliers. Since he had no lines, Skelton reminded me of some of the great silent film comedians.
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