Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (1965) - Rotten Tomatoes

Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines1965

Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (1965)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines Photos

Movie Info

Ken Annakin's large-canvas comedy Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines is set in 1910. In order to boost circulation of his newspaper, Lord Rawnsley (Robert Morley) offers 10,000 pounds to the first person who can fly across the English Channel. A huge number of hopefuls enter the contest, including the scheming Sir Percy Ware-Armitage (Terry-Thomas), who, with the help of his henchman Courtney (Eric Sykes), attempts to sabotage the other entries. There is also a love triangle featuring Orvil Newton (Stuart Whitman) and Richard Mays (James Fox) competing for the heart of Patricia Rawnsley (Sarah Miles). ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi

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James Fox
as Richard Mays
Sarah Miles
as Patricia Rawnsley
Stuart Whitman
as Orvil Newton
Jean-Pierre Cassel
as Pierre Dubois
Alberto Sordi
as Count Emilio Ponticelli
Robert Morley
as Lord Rawnsley
Gert Fröbe
as Col. Manfred von Holstein
Eric Sykes
as Courtney
as Sir Percival Ware-Armitage
Irina Demick
as Brigitte/Ingrid/Marlene/Francoise/Yvette/Betty
Benny Hill
as Fire Chief Perkins
Tony Hancock
as Harry Popperwell
Flora Robson
as Mother Superior
Karl Michael Vogler
as Capt. Rupelstrasse
Sam Wanamaker
as George Gruber
Eric Barker
as French Postman
Fred Emney
as Elderly Col. Willie
John Le Mesurier
as French Painter
Jeremy Lloyd
as Lt. Parsons
Zena Marshall
as Sophia Ponticelli
Millicent Martin
as Airline Hostess
Eric Pohlmann
as Italian Mayor
Marjorie Rhodes
as Waitress in the Old Mill Cafe
Norman Rossington
as Assistant Fire Chief
William Rushton
as Tremayne Gascoyne
Graham Stark
as Fireman
Jimmy Thompson
as Photographer in the Old Mill Cafe
Red Skelton
as Neanderthal Man
Maurice Denham
as Trawler Skipper
Ronnie Stevens
as R.A.C. Officer
Steve Plytas
as Continental Journalist
Ferdinand "Ferdy" Mayne
as French Official
Bill Nagy
as American Journalist
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Critic Reviews for Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines

All Critics (10)

It's no longer very funny...but those aircraft.

July 20, 2021 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Good-natured and routinely humorous, though noticeably overlong (complete with intermission).

August 27, 2020 | Rating: 6/10 | Full Review…

While this sounds trying, it is not, so light and pretty and stylish is the picture, everything swimming in the green grass of England and the sweet lambent air of a 1910 that never was.

March 2, 2020 | Full Review…

Top gun of slapstick early-aviation comedies.

December 15, 2010 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Funny, zany and full of magnificent vintage airplanes; Red Skelton open and close is great.

May 31, 2005 | Rating: 4/5

Goofy "great race" fun.

April 3, 2005 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines


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.

Byron Brubaker
Byron Brubaker

Super Reviewer

One of those childhood classics they always showed on holidays to watch over and over again. Sure, it doesn't work quite as well anymore as it used to, with me growing up and expectations of movies changing so much. But the mere nostalgia was already worth the re-watch. A 1910 flying competition between pilots from several nations causing plenty of plane action and slapstick chases, making fun of pretty much all nations involved: the British snob, the German military man, the French womanizer, the Italian family man and the American hero, all are equally silly and still pretty likable, just like the movie itself. Unforgettable: Gert Fröbe doing his one man marching band sounds. When do we see a revival of these over the top adventure movies?

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

This live action version of an airborne wacky races is predictable slapstick but moustache twirling Terry Thomas is always worth watching as the original Dick Dastardly.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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