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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
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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

The French entry in the race, flown by the character Pierre Dubois, is a replica of the "Demoiselle", designed by the Brazilian expatriate Alberto Santos Dumont, who had been believed by the French to be the first to fly a powered aircraft, until Wilbur Wright & Orville Wright's demonstrations in 1908. The replica builders were faithful in constructing the Demoiselle, but no one could get it to leave the ground until it was discovered that Dumont had been a very small man who weighed only 85 pounds. A female pilot Joan Hughes was hired. She successfully flew the plane throughout the filming. See more »

Goofs

When Pierre Dubois crashes into the sewage after the duel, Count Ponticelli is in the row boat and his clothes are dry. They should be wet since just a few seconds before he had been shot down into the sewage water and rescued. 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 Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

What I like to call just a "Fun Movie".
29 August 2004 | by k_rkeplarSee all my reviews

I think everyone has a few old movies stashed away in their brains that for some reason or another are a part of their lives. Our personal soundtrack if you will. This film is one of mine. I know I saw it at a drive-in when it came out but can't recall which one. My older brother still recalls this one fondly also. It was gut busting funny at the time but hasn't aged that well due to the general public's far more sophisticated mindset these days. But it's still funny. Anyone who is a fan of flying or the history of traditional European nationalistic rivalry will still howl at this clever and at times very sharp satire. We see some of the attitudes that would help fuel the violent world wars that would erupt soon after 1910. The vintage aircraft, some authentic, some not, are sure to excite aircraft fans. The footage of the genuine planes actually flying across the English countryside is genuinely MAGNIFICENT. Many running gags through the length of the movie. My favorite is the obvious one...the redhead. I caught this on our PBS station just last night and as always I was hooked again and had to watch till two in the morning. There's something about most English movies from the 60's that is just magical. Even the bad ones like "Casino Royale" are still fascinating to watch. Great international casts, clever scripts, funny situations, sight gags...whole packages. Fun Movies, plain and simple. "Those Magnificent Men..." isn't a great film or even a great comedy. But it's still a genuine Fun Movie and well worth at least a rental fee. Now that I've seen it again for the zillonth time my brother and I will be talking about it and laughing out butts off the next time I see him. For us it's one of those kind of movies.


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