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.
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 <email@example.com>
At approximately 1 hour & 25 minutes a board is seen listing 14 competitors. Number 1: Richard Mays. (Aircraft number 8) Number 2: Sir Percy Ware Armitage. (Aircraft number 12) Number 3: Orvil Newton. (Aircraft number 7) Number 4: Lieutnant Parsons. (Aircraft number 4) Number 5: Harry Popperwell. (Aircraft number 5) Number 6: Capt Rumpelstoss. (Aircraft number 11) Number 7: Mr Wallace. (Aircraft number unknown) Number 8: Charles Wade. (Aircraft number unknown) Number 9: Mr Yamamoto. (Aircraft number 1) Number 10: Count Emilio Ponticelli. (Aircraft number 2) Number 11: Henri Monteux. (Aircraft number unknown) Number 12: Pierre Dubois. (Aircraft number 9) Number 13: Mr Mac Dougall. (Aircraft number 6) Number 14: Harry Walton. (Aircraft number unknown) In only twice does the pilots number match the aircraft/race number. The four unknown pilots (Mr Wallace, Charles Wade, Henri Monteux & Harry Walton) must be the pilots of the four missing aircraft/race numbers (3, 10, 13 & 14) See more »
The propeller on Sir Percy's Avro Triplane is a four-bladed paddle-type throughout the movie, except for the first day of the race when it suddenly changes to a normal two-bladed type. See more »
The Neanderthal Man:
[watches a gull flying over a beach]
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]
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]
Man, eternally optimistic, kept trying.
[...] See more »
Closing credits: Those Magnificent Men - and Women - were ... See more »
"Up, Down, Flying Around, Looping The Loop And Defying The Ground"
I'm one of the biggest fans of old newsreels and I don't think there are too many of us who haven't seen some of that ancient footage with all those odd contraptions showing man's attempt to fly in the early 20th century. I guess it was only a matter of time before someone got the bright idea to do a comedy from those attempts.
Some of them weren't all that funny, people did in fact get killed, a lot of them in trying to master the air. But by 1910 there were all kinds of airplanes and even some early helicopters and a lot are shown in Those Magnificent Men.
The plot centers about an international race from London to Paris sponsored by one of the English press lords played in true John Bull style by Robert Morley. He's got a spirited suffragette daughter in Sarah Miles and a most proper member of the King's Coldstream Guards in James Fox courting her.
But along comes another flier, an American cowboy, Stuart Whitman who becomes Fox's air and romantic rival. But the film's got more than that. It's got Italian hopeful Alberto Sordi who can impregnate his wife with a dirty look. It's got Frenchman Jean Pierre-Cassel who keeps running into Irina Demick every place he goes. It's even got another English contestant in Terry-Thomas who's busy trying to sabotage everyone else.
However my favorite is the German entry, Gert Frobe. Poor Frobe has to pinch hit for the original German flier who partied too hardy. But as he tries to prove as long as you follow the instruction book, the German Army can accomplish anything. Seeing him try to fly his airplane while reading the instruction book is my favorite memory of Those Magnificent Men.
That and that incredibly catchy title song. I defy anyone to watch this film and not come away humming that tune for weeks. It will embed itself in your subconscious forever.
Those Magnificent Men is good entertainment and a gentle tribute to those early air pioneers.
36 of 38 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this