Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Continue with Facebook Continue with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines Reviews

This rip-roaring comedy takes place in 1910, when English press bigwig Lord Rawnsley (Robert Morley) sets out to prove that Great Britain is No. 1 in the air. Putting up 10,000 pounds as a prize, he invites the world's best pilots to compete in an air race from London to Paris. All sorts of dandy planes arrive, but Rawnsley roots for his daughter's (Sarah Miles's) fiance, Richard Mays (James Fox), a Royal Navy lieutenant. Other contenders include an Italian count (Alberto Sordi); a fanatical Prussian who will die before he lets anyone else win (Gert Frobe); a Frenchman (Jean-Pierre Cassel) followed by a sextet of women (all played by Irina Demick); a villainous Brit (Terry-Thomas); an inscrutable Japanese (Yujiro Ishihara); and American barnstormer Orvil Newton (Stuart Whitman), who decides that Rawnsley's daughter is the woman for him. After a series of slapstick mishaps, the competitors are winnowed until only the Italian and the two romantic rivals remain. Heroism and fair play are the order of the day in the big finish, but it's up to Rawnsley's daughter to decide which of the competitors has won her heart. Good, clean fun, with fast and furious action, good cinematography, crisp dialogue, wonderful planes, and a host of some of the funniest people in movies in the cast.