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Those Fantastic Flying Fools (1967)
"Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon" (original title)

5.3
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 411 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 8 critic

Phineas T Barnum and friends finance the first flight to the moon but find the task a little above them. They attempt to blast their rocket into orbit from a massive gun barrel built into ... See full summary »

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(original story), (inspired by the writings of), 1 more credit »
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Title: Those Fantastic Flying Fools (1967)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jimmy Clitheroe ...
General Tom Thumb
...
Captain Sir Harry Washington Smythe
Graham Stark ...
Grundle
...
Professor von Bulow (as Gert Frobe)
...
Sir Charles Dillworthy
...
The Duke of Barset
...
Gaylord
...
Madelaine
Edward de Souza ...
Henri (as Edward De Souza)
...
Angelica
...
Electra
Renate von Holt ...
Anna (as Renata Holt)
Joachim Teege ...
Bulgeroff
Stratford Johns ...
Warrant Officer
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Storyline

Phineas T Barnum and friends finance the first flight to the moon but find the task a little above them. They attempt to blast their rocket into orbit from a massive gun barrel built into the side of a Welsh mountain, but money troubles, spies and saboteurs ensure that the plan is doomed before it starts. Written by Rhino <rhino@blueyonder.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The most fabulous entertainment event of the year!


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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 July 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Those Fantastic Flying Fools  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bing Crosby was attached to this project he was going to play P.T.Barnum but delays and rewrites caused him to drop out. See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits: Joan Sterndale Bennett as Queen Victoria.... God Bless her! See more »

Soundtracks

We Must Always Trust the Stranger
Music and Lyrics by Ron Goodwin
Performed by Mike Clifford (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
ROCKET TO THE MOON (Don Sharp, 1967) **1/2
28 December 2008 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

From exploitation writer-producer Harry Alan Towers comes this curiously upmarket but essentially lowbrow comic adaptation of the Jules Verne adventure "From The Earth To The Moon" – already filmed straight under that title in 1958, and which I also own recorded off TCM U.K. For what it's worth, both versions managed to attract notable actors to the fold: in this case, it's Burl Ives (as real-life showman P.T. Barnum – apparently, the role had first been offered to Bing Crosby!), Gert Frobe (amusing as a German explosives expert), Dennis Price, Lionel Jeffries (as a flustered engineer – basically a variation on his role in the superior FIRST MEN IN THE MOON [1964]), Terry-Thomas (as a vindictive financier and Jeffries' shady partner), not forgetting Troy Donahue (unconvincing as an American scientist and made to don a silly astro-nautical outfit more attuned to dystopian allegories!), Daliah Lavi and Edward de Souza who supply the obligatory (and bland) romantic triangle.

Whilst readily conceding that it doesn't have much of a reputation to begin with, the film itself proved a bit of a let-down for me – especially since, unlike the earlier version, we never even get to go in outer-space!! Besides, the pace is inordinately slow for this type of film; director Sharp was clearly more adept at deploying atmosphere and suspense than at he was at comedy timing. That said, the first half is undeniably pleasant with the amusing trial-and-error experiments of the various people involved (often witnessed by a perpetually unperturbed Queen Victoria) and, later, Frobe's disastrous attempts to find the correct amount of Bulovite (his own invention) to fire the rocket (Donahue's design of which is favored over that of the more experienced, and consequently inflamed, Jeffries) all the way to the moon! Alas, the film's latter stages – involving Jeffries and Terry-Thomas' attempts to sabotage the launching, Lavi's determination (after being abducted by them and escaping) to reach Donahue and alert him of their nefarious plan, and which also needlessly throw in a number of other characters (including even more romantic complications!) – tend to fall flat; the finale, though, as the rocket actually does go off with Jeffries, Terry-Tomas and, unbeknownst to them, a Russian spy inside (and which rather than land on the moon as intended takes them all the way to Siberia!), is quite nicely done.

A measure of the film's overall failure can be gleaned from the fact that it was released in several quarters under a multitude of different titles, including THOSE FANTASTIC FLYING FOOLS in the U.S. where it was marketed as a would-be follow-up to the highly successful epic spoof THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES (1965) which had also starred Terry-Thomas and Gert Frobe. Unfortunately, my viewing of the film was somewhat compromised by the faulty copy I acquired, with the audio being ever so slightly off, while the picture froze – though not the soundtrack! – for about 10 seconds half-way through!!


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