7.0/10
6,968
52 user 35 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.

Director:

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

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

20th Century-Fox Presents The Motion Picture That Sets Comedy Ahead 100 Years! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

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 »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Black and White (prologue)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

A shot of Richard flying from above shows quite clearly modern (for 1965) cars parked on a road below him. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in A Very English Scandal: Episode #1.2 (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Deutschlandlied
(uncredited)
Music by Franz Joseph Haydn
Heard in the scene of the Germans receiving the news of the competition
See more »

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User Reviews

lengthy and funny piece
7 April 2004 | by didi-5See all my reviews

One of the numerous comedy epics of the 1960s (It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World, and Monte Carlo or Bust being others), this movie is very funny and memorably so. The tale of several flyers from different nationalities (British, America, French, Italian, German, etc.) piloting their planes across the Channel from London to Paris - and the vintage model planes are fabulous - takes the form of a number of different interwoven stories leading up to the race in the last part of the movie.

The cast includes Terry-Thomas as Sir Percy, the cheating upper-class Englishman; James Fox as the irritating fop Richard; Stuart Whitman as Orvil the American nice guy; Jean-Pierre Cassell as the randy Frenchman; and Gert Frobe as the blustering German officer. Cameos a-plenty, from Benny Hill, Tony Hancock, William Rushton, Eric Sykes, Fred Emney, and so on. Irina Demick (in multiple roles), and Sarah Miles play what love interest the film has.

Highly recommended if you fancy a laugh. And a fantastic and memorable theme song as well.


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