Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ September 12, 2011
Another 60's comedy that I had seen years ago and re-watched (on tv) recently. I'm not sure if anyone on the production of this movie worked for Disney's live action division or if it is the general popularity of these big comedies during this decade, but this reminds me of numerous wholesome family comedy adventures. This movie is slightly more subversive though. There is a huge cast with many recognizable faces and several soon to be famous names. The credits are done with that kooky 60's animation. The bookmarks of the picture with Red Skelton, archival footage of attempted flights, and recreated clips of attempted flights are silly, but also curiously of historical value. Once we get into the central adventure of the air race I couldn't help but chuckle at the mostly slapstick misadventure. Sarah Miles as the feisty young English woman challenging a woman's role in mechanics and flight was impressive. The movie keeps track of such a large cast of international characters and yet moves along at a brisk pace. It is corny how the American and British are the ultimately winners. They fight over the girl besides, as expected. The American flyer Orvil (Whitman), who is of course portrayed as a cowboy, is a risk taking hero, but doesn't seem to be a real person. The last standing British flyer Richard (Fox) is a snobbish chauvinist. In short the comedy is full of stereotypes, but it is mostly good fun.
½ February 15, 2011
Trust Me... Slapstick at it's best... will always hold this film close.
August 11, 2010
The title says it all, this is one of the most famous all star adventure caper comedies of the 1960's, this one is a love letter to the time of when aviation was in it's infancy, and it's still very funny 45 years on. Set in 1910, it has newspaper magnate Lord Rawnsley (Robert Morley), who sets up a bet for airplane enthusiasts to fly from London to Paris, the first prize is £10,000. Rawnsley's daughter Patricia (Sarah Miles) is in love with airplane pilot Richard Mays (James Fox) who enters the contest and is Lord Rawnsley's favourite to win, however, entries come in from far and wide, from America there's Orvil Newton (Stuart Whitman), who takes a liking to Patricia, there's German Colonel Manfred von Holstein (Gert Fröbe) and Frenchman Pierre Dubois (Jean-Pierre Cassel). There's also the dastardly cheater Sir Percy Ware-Armitage (Terry-Thomas), who has his servant Courtney (Eric Sykes) to sabotage the planes so he can win. The film is a great piece of family entertainment that has something for everyone, and is still funny and entertaining now with a brilliant cast, also rounded out with Benny Hill, Red Skelton, Tony Hancock, Sam Wanamaker, Maurice Denham and John Le Mesurier. Some of the stunts with the planes are amazing.
½ May 31, 2010
Low on comedy despite the cracking cast cast who are associated with this genre. However it is high on cult value as the flying adventure makes for a great screwball journey.
½ April 21, 2010
A lot of fun, but more throwaway that it should have been. More detalied review coming soon.
April 19, 2010
Terry Thomas and Eric Sykes are wonderful in this timeless romp. It is 45 years old now but still very watchable. It's just straight up British fun.
½ April 19, 2010
Absolutely hilarious - all the nationalities are stereotyped and truly funny. You could not make this film today with all the PC bullshit.
½ April 6, 2010
Why not every once in a while see one of those old classics? this one definitely has a lot of slapsticky stereotype jokes on offer, especially during the first half of the movie. unfortunately, it doesn't quite manage to keep up the fun and motion throughout the actual race from london to paris, and the end comes along fairly swiftly and without any surprises. overall, it remains a decent piece of enjoyment with some all-time classic actors.
March 23, 2010
A very amusing film that really "takes off and soars".
March 21, 2010
A fun family film tha came out in the same year as The Great Race. Both films deal with turn of the 20th Century and man's fascination with new gizmos: planes and autos. Of the 2 Great Race is better, but while this film is a bit too long it has a lot of Keystone cops type gags that the kids love. The cast does a decent job but there isn't any really memorable performances.
½ February 18, 2010
I love this movie and its companion piece. Charming and fun with an international cast.
February 15, 2010
Good old fashioned flying fun
½ January 19, 2010
Stuart Whitman, Sarah Miles, James Fox, Gert Frobe, Terry-Thomas, Eric Sykes and a whole host of others star in this daft 1910-set comedy that chronicles a newspaper owner's air race from London to Paris, the winner receiving a large cash prize. Naturally every flying enthusiast in the world, each more eccentric than the last shows up to try and claim the winnings. There are a couple of good laughs and the various national stereotypes are quite amusing (German - militaristic, French - lover, American - smooth, carefree cowboy etc) but it's overlong, slow and in the end there's not really a lot going on. It's also disappointing that the actual race (which doesn't begin until 90 minutes in) is such a small part of the film. Stick with the sequel: Monte Carlo or Bust - it's better in every possible way.
½ December 17, 2009
Worth a viewing just for the absurdity of it all. The flying machines these guys come up with are worth a viewing by themselves. Benny Hill and Gert Frobe (Goldfinger from the James Bond movie with Sean Connery) are funny central characters and the overall cast was very funny. Worth watching if you really like British comedy or Monty Python sillyness.
September 23, 2009
I know the name, but don't remember for sure actually watching
½ August 20, 2009
It's not the type of film I'd usually watch, but it was surprisingly good because of all those different planes and because of the lovely humour.
½ August 19, 2009
no its mad mad mad world but still good
April 27, 2009
A fun film, perhaps more a memory of the old silent slapstic comedies. It is way too long, shooting itself in the foot in away, yet still is a likeable ride.
½ April 3, 2009
Un divertissement familial tres plaisant sur les pionniers de l'aviation. Le film a plutot bien vieilli, meme si le scenario tres lineaire et previsible ne casse pas des briques. C'est gai, enjoue et plutot bien realise, avec des scenes aeriennes joliment filmees (les aeroplanes ont tous ete reconstitues "pour de vrai") et une ambiance 1900 tres coloree, avec les premiers bains de mer, les debuts de l'automobile et de... l'emancipation des femmes. Le comique tres "cartoonesque" repose essentiellement sur les crashes spectaculaires des machines et les stereotypes nationaux : l'Anglais est valeureux mais rigide, l'Americain frustre mais genereux, le Francais est un coureur de jupons tres provocateur, l'Italien est un bigot flamboyant, l'Allemand a un casque a pointe... mais ca reste tres ironique, tres "second degre", comme lorsque le Japonais, emmele dans les cables apres s'etre croute, reclame un couteau et qu'un officiel lui demande si c'est pour se faire hara-kiri.
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