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Ian Morgan
Ian Morgan

Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines ... [WORK]

As Yamamoto is officially greeted, Patricia convinces Newton to take her flying and they race back to the airfield, followed by Mays and her father, who are intent on stopping them. Not long after taking off, one of the struts on Newton's plane breaks, and Patricia has to fly the plane while Newton repairs it with his belt. When Newton lands, Lord Rawnsley throws him out of the race. Patricia apologizes to Newton, and Rawnsley gives in after she threatens to start an international incident. Meanwhile, Holstein, insulted by the French team's mockery, challenges Dubois to a duel. Dubois agrees, and opts for gas balloons and blunderbusses as his weapons of choice. Both balloons and their pilots end up in the filthy waters of the adjacent sewage farm.

Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines ...

The realism and the attention to detail in the replicas of vintage machines are a major contributor to the enjoyment of the film, and although a few of the "flying" stunts were achieved through the use of models and cleverly disguised wires, most aerial scenes featured actual flying aircraft. The few genuine vintage aircraft used included a Deperdussin used as set dressing, and the flyable 1912 Blackburn Monoplane "D" (the oldest genuine British aircraft still flying[37]), belonged to the Shuttleworth Trust based at Old Warden, Bedfordshire. When the filming was completed, the "1910 Bristol Boxkite" and the "1911 Roe IV Triplane" were retained in the Shuttleworth Collection,[38] Both replicas are still in flyable condition, albeit flying with different engines.[39] For his role in promoting the film, the non-flying "Passat Ornithopter" was given to aircraft restorer and preservationist, Cole Palen who displayed it at his Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, New York, where it is still on display.[40]

Despite the reliance on flying stunts and their inherent danger, the one near-tragedy occurred on the ground when a stunt went wrong. Stuntman Ken Buckle inadvertently turned the throttle to full on a runaway motorbike and sidecar, launching himself through the retaining wall on the sloped Brookley racing track and crashing into the adjoining cesspool, off-camera. Thinking quickly, the special effects man on the other side of the wall saw the motorbike hurtling towards him and set off the accompanying explosion, creating a realistic waterspout. Lucky to escape with only facial bruises and a dislocated collarbone, as he struggled to his feet, Buckle apologised for having messed up, but the shot "was in the can".[8]

Produced at the height of the craze for 70mm Road Show epics is Ken Annakin's Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines, a pleasant family adventure designed as unchallenging light entertainment. An enormous comedy about a 1910 London to Paris air race, the show remains impressive for its technical achievement as well as its slapstick comedy. It was a dream opportunity for a few keen aviation engineers to reproduce a veritable flying circus of original pre-WW1 aircraft in full detail. The kite-like planes are exhilarating to watch soar through the skies.

Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines is one of the more attractive 70mm Road Shows of the 1960s, as much of its running time is spent in glorious aerial shots , expansive greenery and seemingly acres of vintage costumes. The film manages to make it look as if it never rains in England; how they found all those beautiful mild days is a real mystery. When we're not watching aircraft in motion, we're given a constant parade of shining, candy-colored antique automobiles that look better than Dinky toys.

Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, or How I Flew from London to Paris in 25 Hours 11 Minutes, to give its full title, is a 1965 British-American period comedy film (released through Twentieth Century Fox) about an international air race held during the early, pre-World War I days of aviation. A wacky cast of characters assembles with their wacky aircraft, a love triangle develops, Worthy Opponents square off, and great fun is had by all... except for those who can't stay in the air. 041b061a72


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