51 user 34 critic

Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines or How I Flew from London to Paris in 25 hours 11 minutes (1965)

Hoping to push Britain to the forefront of aviation, a London publisher organizes an international air race across the English Channel, but must contend with two entrants vying for his daughter, as well as national rivalries and cheating.


Ken Annakin

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In the early 20th century, two rivals, the heroic Leslie and the despicable Professor Fate, engage in an epic automobile race from New York to Paris.

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, Jack Lemmon
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A Victorian Englishman bets that with the new steamships and railways he can circumnavigate the globe in eighty days.

Directors: Michael Anderson, John Farrow
Stars: David Niven, Cantinflas, Shirley MacLaine
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A down-on-his-luck inventor turns a broken-down Grand Prix car into a fancy vehicle for his children, and then they go off on a magical fantasy adventure to save their grandfather in a far-off land.

Director: Ken Hughes
Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes, Lionel Jeffries
Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Swiss family must survive being shipwrecked on a deserted island.

Director: Ken Annakin
Stars: John Mills, Dorothy McGuire, James MacArthur
Adventure | Family | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A scientist is nearly assassinated. In order to save him, a submarine is shrunken to microscopic size and injected into his blood stream with a small crew. Problems arise almost as soon as they enter the bloodstream.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Stephen Boyd, Raquel Welch, Edmond O'Brien
The Love Bug (1968)
Comedy | Family | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A race car driver becomes a champion with a Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Dean Jones, Michele Lee, David Tomlinson
Adventure | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A ship sent to investigate a wave of mysterious sinkings encounters the advanced submarine, the Nautilus, commanded by Captain Nemo.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Paul Lukas
Adventure | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A boy attempts to realize his father's dream of climbing an alpine peak known as the Citadel.

Director: Ken Annakin
Stars: Michael Rennie, James MacArthur, Janet Munro
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An Edinburgh professor and assorted colleagues follow an explorer's trail down an extinct Icelandic volcano to the earth's center.

Director: Henry Levin
Stars: James Mason, Pat Boone, Arlene Dahl
Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The treasure seeking adventures of young Jim Hawkins and pirate captain Long John Silver.

Director: Byron Haskin
Stars: Bobby Driscoll, Robert Newton, Basil Sydney
Adventure | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

During the reign of Henry VIII, Mary Tudor seeks to flee a forced marriage with the French king by escaping to America with her true love, but her plans are not so easily executed.

Director: Ken Annakin
Stars: Richard Todd, Glynis Johns, James Robertson Justice
Born Free (1966)
Adventure | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The story of George and Joy Adamson and the orphaned lion cub, Elsa, they adopt.

Directors: James Hill, Tom McGowan
Stars: Virginia McKenna, Bill Travers, Geoffrey Keen


Cast overview, first billed only:
Stuart Whitman ... Orvil Newton
Sarah Miles ... Patricia Rawnsley
James Fox ... Richard Mays
Alberto Sordi ... Count Emilio Ponticelli
Robert Morley ... Lord Rawnsley
Gert Fröbe ... Count Manfred Von Holstein (as Gert Frobe)
Jean-Pierre Cassel ... Pierre Dubois
Irina Demick ... Brigitte / Ingrid / Marlene / Françoise / Yvette / Betty
Eric Sykes ... Courtney
Red Skelton ... The Neanderthal Man / Ancient Greek Flyer / Medieval Flyer / Winged Bicycle Rider / Winged Car Rider / Jet Pack Tester / Ornithopter Pilot / Passenger in Airport
Terry-Thomas ... Sir Percy Ware-Armitage
Benny Hill ... Fire Chief Perkins
Yûjirô Ishihara ... Yamamoto (as Yujiro Ishihara)
Flora Robson ... Mother Superior
Karl Michael Vogler ... Captain Rumpelstrosse


In the infancy of aviation in 1910, 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 subplots as the flyers jockey for position and the affections of various women. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


or How I Flew from London to Paris in 25 hours 11 minutes See more »


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





English | French | German | Italian | Japanese

Release Date:

16 June 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines See more »


Box Office


$5,600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (Westrex Recording System) (70 mm prints)


Black and White (prologue)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Fred Emney and Cicely Courtneidge share equal screen time; however, he gets a screen credit, while she does not. See more »


Shortly before landing to get gasoline in France, Dubois banks left over a farm to follow the canal, two 1960s cars are parked at the farm. See more »


[first lines]
The Neanderthal Man: [watches a gull flying over a beach]
Narrator: Ever since man started to think, he's wanted to fly. But flying was strictly for the birds.
The Neanderthal Man: [flapping his arms enthusiastically, he leaps from a sandy bluff and falls onto the beach below]
Narrator: And continued to be so for thousands of years.
[in ancient Greece, a man wearing makeshift wings is forced at swordpoint off a temple roof]
Narrator: Man, eternally optimistic, kept trying.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The 20th Century Fox logo appears on the screen of an early 20th-century movie theater, surrounded by a safety curtain featuring advertisements typical of the era, as the studio fanfare is played by a small ensemble of piano, drums and horn - typical for the movie theaters of the 1910s. The first few scenes in the prologue appear in black-and-white on the screen, until the depiction of Count Emilio Ponticelli's pioneering flight, during which the image expands to fill the modern screen and changes to color, followed by the opening credit sequence. See more »


Referenced in Bájecné zeny na létajících strojích (1978) See more »


Ride of the Valkyries
Written by Richard Wagner
Heard when Von Holstein is trying to control the motorcycle from the side car
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

More Beautiful than Funny
3 May 2004 | by vox-saneSee all my reviews

By today's standards, "Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, or How I Flew from London to Paris in 25 hours 11 minutes" is a slow (sometimes sluggish) comedy of the "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World" school of thought that bigger is funnier (it generally isn't). Part of the problem is that the producer, working over director Ken Annakin's shoulder, wanted the love triangle between James Fox, Stuart Whitman and Sarah Miles accentuated. This was partly good thinking, because one cannot laugh solidly for more than an hour. Any comedy will pall after that period, and the story carries us through until after the intermission.

The glimpses of slapstick we see are well done, but few and far between. They include a runaway airplane/motorcycle and a duel fought from balloons (which does have a good pay-off).

The comedy might've been sharpened, but the draw to the theatres was probably to see the reproductions of antique airplanes. The movie does provide some of the best blue screen work before George Lucas, and one always believes the stars are actually flying. For this reason, the movie cries out to be seen in letterbox, as it is on DVD, but the grandeur of the photography and good effects is diminished on the small screen.

Still, the impressive international cast is game. The competitors in the air race all represent nationalities, and they are "types", so they are easily identifiable. The cast's obvious enthusiasm for the project raises the viewer's own spirits. And there are very bright spots. Gert Frobe ("Goldfinger"), the leader of the German contingent, manages some laughs by an amazing "one man band" effect (and yes, it's really him). Jean-Pierre Cassel has a running gag that doesn't really work, but which features the beautiful Irina Demick ("The Longest Day") so it's always worth watching. Jeremy Lloyd provides some bright humor as the silly naval officer who wants to take the first dog in flight. Tiny bits by Terry-Thomas, Eric Sykes, Benny Hill and Robert Morley are amusing. Tony Hancock, as the inventor with a leg in a cast, steals every scene he's in and his pay-off nearly steals the whole movie.

On the down side, Stuart Whitman is an astounding and ineffective addition to the cast as the American competitor. It turns out (from the DVD commentary), Ken Annakin first wanted Dick van Dyke, but van Dyke's agent never showed him the script and they had to cast it -- but why not find someone who has some comic timing? As it turns out (from later in the commentary), Whitman nearly wrecked the movie in other ways.

But the flying scenes of the reproduction airplanes make this movie imminently watchable. One grows weary of the interminable crashes early in the film, and the race isn't very exciting, but just watching them fly (and realizing with a shiver that human beings actually went up in the air in those things) make the movie fun. If you don't need high-speed, high-octane, full-throttle comedy but have time for a leisurely picture that's well acted and beautifully shot, this isn't a bad way to spend two hours and a half.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 51 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed