Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines (1965)

Part of our FILM FESTIVAL OF FLIGHT: Friday 20th – Sunday 29th September 2019.

Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, also known as How I Flew from London to Paris in 25 hours 11 minutes, is a 1960’s comedy, part slapstick, part spectacle, and part adventure, but most of all a sweet, lighthearted, fun film that’s almost a live-action, airborne version of the hit TV series Wacky Races!

Set in 1910, Lord Rawnsley (Robert Morley) offers £10,000 to the first person who can fly across the English Channel, in order to boost circulation of his newspaper.

Many hopefuls enter the contest, including the scheming Sir Percy Ware-Armitage (a wonderful, moustache-twirling Terry-Thomas), who, with the help of his henchman, Courtney (Eric Sykes), attempts to sabotage all the other entries.

A love triangle also plays out, featuring Orvil Newton (Stuart Whitman) and Richard Mays (a youthful James Fox), both competing for the heart of Patricia Rawnsley (Sarah Miles).
The film also features Benny Hill in one of his memorable feature film roles, along with Gert Fröbe, famous for his title role as Auric Goldfinger in the James Bond classic.

The film is presented in glorious cinemascope widescreen with eye-popping colours and an enhanced soundtrack.

“Very entertaining comedy” – Radio Times ★★★★

“Fanciful and nostalgic, a piece of clever picture-making” – Variety