Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines Centred around a London-to-Paris air race early in the 1900’s, this is a wonderful English comedy spoofing national characteristics! You know the sort of thing, the expansive American hero, the fair-playing Englishman, the great French lover, the emotional Italian count, the enigmatic Japanese, the humourless pomp-loving German, and so on.
The casting is interesting, for this light-hearted movie’s principal roles are filled by actors who are far more familiar playing the heavy: Stuart Whitman, Sarah Miles, James Fox, Jean-Pierre Cassel, and Gert Frobe. And make no mistake, they are superb at it!
Offending no-one of any age, this movie plays out against the back-drop of the air race, with a fantastic array of primitive aircraft. It is fun and full of life, tripping along easily and smoothly from one delightful absurdity to another. The English have made this movie, and while they have considerable fun at the expense of the Frenchman and the German, they cannot resist poking the bulk of the fun at themselves. They do so by augmenting the cast with the shifty Englishman (Terry-Thomas), the confidence man (Tony Hancock), and the foreigner-distrusting representative of the upper crust (Robert Morley).