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Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines

340 customer reviews

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Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines + The Great Race + It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This extraordinary comic version of the historic 1910 London-to-Paris air race features the greatest aviators from around the world. They all come together when a stuffy, but very rich, newspaper publisher decides to sponsor an airplane race across the English Channel. Convinced it will give his newspaper worldwide publicity, the publisher offers 10,000 pounds to the winner. The escapades between the American, British, French, German, Italian and Japanese teams result in the most darling and hilarious in-flight acrobatic stunts ever caught on film. But the film's greatest triumph is the amazing re-creation of the vintage airplanes which did the actual flying.

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An air race from London to Paris provides the premise for this marvelous comedy, which features thrilling aerial photography and some stupefying stunt flying. It's set in 1910, when the (lovingly re-created) airplanes of the period were likelier to sputter and crash than they were to go in a straight line. The international contest requires an international cast, including Stuart Whitman as a cowboy American interested in the ladylove (Sarah Miles) of an English ace (James Fox). Alberto Sordi and Gert Frobe represent the Italian and German nations; Terry-Thomas plans frightful sabotage for race day. From the jaunty opening song and the great opening-credits drawings by Gerald Searle onward, the movie has a pleasingly breezy tone that sits well with the meticulous flying sequences. This is a delightful example of a certain kind of internationally flavored film of the period, somewhat similar to The Great Race, released the same year (1965). --Robert Horton

Special Features

  • Conversations with Ken Annakin
  • Behind-the-scenes gallery
  • Visual effects gallery
  • Historical aircraft
  • Storyboards

Product Details

  • Actors: Stuart Whitman, Sarah Miles, James Fox, Alberto Sordi, Robert Morley
  • Directors: Ken Annakin
  • Writers: Ken Annakin, Jack Davies
  • Producers: Ken Annakin, Jack Davies, Stan Margulies
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.0), French (Dolby Digital 1.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.20:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: March 16, 2004
  • Run Time: 138 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (340 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00014NEX0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,237 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By R. Monteith on March 26, 2004
Format: DVD
Finally! The 20th Century-Fox 1965 roadshow extravaganza comes to DVD. The movie looks marvelous in what must be a transfer from a restored 70mm print. On my 16X9 HDTV in progressive scan the images are quite stunning for a film of this vintage. The Dolby Digital 5.0 remastering of the original 6-track magnetic soundtrack is also a joy to the ears. This is an old-fashioned entertainment for the entire family. Thanks to its presentation on this new DVD the movie is once again a grand experience. The extras are extensive for such a moderately priced DVD too. Director Ken Annakin provides an interesting commentary track and appears in a new featurette. Somebody at Fox definately loves this movie, one that is a childhood favorite of mine. I saw it in its original release, and also in a 1969 reissue as part of a double feature with Fox's "Planet of the Apes." "The Perfect Mates" the ads said, "Apes and Men." Studios just don't don't do things like that anymore. Anyway, this DVD is a joy!
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Herr Stark on October 3, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This is an absolutely wonderful movie. I have watched it again and again. It seems to be one of the funniest movies I've ever seen, yet it was a very good old fashioned, innocent, and more professional humor than most other comedies. I think it is a work of art and should be added to DVD format. Being that much of my family is German, Gert Fröbe was my favorite character. A funny and warm resemblance of the Prussian gentleman of the time. All the national characters were funny too. Terry Thomas was wonderful and gave me plenty of laughs. The Frenchmen and the Italian (Emilio) were great too. You will just feel naturally happier after you watch this movie. Don't even hesitate to buy it!
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50 of 58 people found the following review helpful By cookieman108 on September 28, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Would you like to take a ride in my ornithopter? No? How about a quick jaunt in my aerial steam carriage? Maybe a lift in my oscillating monoplane? It's hard for many of us to imagine when airplanes were not the efficient, quick, safe, and somewhat affordable mode of transportation that they are today, but there was a time when the technology was still in the experimental stage, back in the early 20th century, and that's when the film Those Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machines, or How I Flew from London to Paris in 25 Hours and 11 Minutes (1965)...whew! That's one heck of a title...

Directed by Ken Annakin, a British director who gained acclaim working on such Disney films like The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men (1952), The Sword and the Rose (1953), and Swiss Family Robinson (1960), Those Magnificent Men (shortened for sanity's sake) stars Stuart Whitman (Call Him Mr. Shatter) and Sarah Miles (The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing). Also appearing are Robert Morley (The African Queen), Gert Fröbe (Goldfinger), Eric Sykes, Benny Hill, Yûjirô Ishihara (Japan's most popular film, TV, and recording star at the time), along with England's most recognizable gap-toothed character actor Terry-Thomas (his most famous roles involve him playing an upper-class British twit, as he does here).

The story is pretty straightforward here...basically, a rich (in both money and snobbery) English newspaper owner named Lord Rawnsley (played by Morley) happens upon an idea, one which would increase his paper's circulation greatly, of having an aeronautical race from London to Paris, with the winner to receive not only a large sum of dough, but the prestige of being the first man to accomplish such a daring feat.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By forrie on May 4, 2004
Format: DVD
1965 was the year of the big screen action race comedies with lots of stars, grand costumes, lavish sets and authentic classic vehicles. "The Great Race" a 1910 auto race from New York to Paris and the "Those Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machines" a 1910 International Aircraft race from London to Paris.
What makes this 1965 Action Comedy so Grand is the attention to detail by Director Ken Annakin who had 6 replica flying machines built by real aero - engineers from the original blue prints and specifications. The accuracy of these replicants even proved the critical pilot weight limitations. They had to even substitute a female stunt pilot to fly the French mono - wing because the original pilot was a very small man. Now available for the first time on a spectacular panoramic 2.20:1 Aspect ratio. (Anamorphic WideScreen DVD (automatically adjusts picture to viewing tv size) with Dolby Surround Sound.) NOTE: THIS IS A FANTASTIC MOVIE TO WATCH ON WIDESCREEN 16:9 HDTV!!!!!
This film is 138 minutes and has many extras which include very detailed information and the history regarding all the 1910 vintage aircraft used in the film.
With an All-star 1960's International cast; Stuart Whitman, Sarah Miles, James Fox, Robert Morley, Red Skelton, Gert Frobe, Jean-Pierre Cassal, Benny Hill, Alberto Sordi and Terry Thomas.
This is a magnificent movie and the ingenuity and comedy of 1910 flight is a delight to watch on the BIG SCREEN. Enjoy.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By C. A. Luster on March 3, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
As a child my dad took our whole family to see any movie that had to do with airplanes. This is one that I enjoyed then and it has aged very well. I think this is one that families today will enjoy as much as we did when it first came out. Even though it is forty years old it was done as a period piece then and the production values were good and the cast and music is great. The message is pretty light stuff and easy to take. Anyone that likes some of the older comedies like "The Great Race" or "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" will enjoy it. The rivalries between the countries competing in the air race and the battle of the sex's are often funny. Airplane enthusiasts will definitely love seeing these pre-WWI airplanes in action. I bought the VHS years ago and I am looking forward to my DVD arriving.
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