Hoping to push Britain to the forefront of aviation, a London publisher organizes an international air race across the English Channel, but must contend with two entrants vying for his daughter, as well as national rivalries and cheating.
A scientist is nearly assassinated. In order to save him, a submarine is shrunken to microscopic size and injected into his blood stream with a small crew. Problems arise almost as soon as they enter the bloodstream.
In the infancy of aviation in 1910, a British newspaper offers a prize for the winner of a cross-channel air race which brings flyers from all over the world. There are many subplots as the flyers jockey for position and the affections of various women.Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
The are two real vintage aircraft to be seen in this film. The first is a 1910 Deperdussin Monoplane is seen "revving-up" on the ground when we first arrive at Brookley. The second is a 1912 Blackburn 'Type D' Monoplane, which seen on the ground at Brookley and Dover (Aircraft #6) it is the one swung out of the way of the runaway 'tailess' German biplane, just after it has crashed through the back of the "Ware-Armitage" hanger. The Blackburn is flown by Mr Mac Dougall, played by Gordon Jackson. These two genuine real vintage planes are still (2016) in airworthy condition at the "Shuttleworth Collection" at Old Warden, Bedfordshire and can very occasionally be seen flying there. See more »
As Ware-Armitage manoeuvres his way back in to the seat after shooing the bird by throwing a bottle at it, he jiggles the airplane controls forward and backward considerably. However, there is no change to the plane's flight path. See more »
The Neanderthal Man:
[watches a gull flying over a beach]
Ever since man started to think, he's wanted to fly. But flying was strictly for the birds.
The Neanderthal Man:
[flapping his arms enthusiastically, he leaps from a sandy bluff and falls onto the beach below]
And continued to be so for thousands of years.
[in ancient Greece, a man wearing makeshift wings is forced at swordpoint off a temple roof]
Man, eternally optimistic, kept trying.
[...] See more »
Closing credits: Those Magnificent Men - and Women - were ... See more »
An interesting collection of early aircraft in a lighthearted comedy. Set in the early 1900s, an "international" air race, from England to France, and of course across the English Channel, was proposed, ostensibly to advance aviation. Naturally, the film presents cultural/national stereotypes, but not maliciously.
Spoilers in the following.
One stereotype is the German team leader, played be Gert Frobe, who is so systematized that when his pilot is sick, feels that simply following the instruction books would enable him to fly the German entry. And it works, for a while. (Aside: taking off and guiding such ragwings could possibly work, but textbooks or no, the landings probably would be worth watching on something like America's Funniest Home Videos.) His antics, as his aircraft gets into trouble, thumbing frantically through his manuals, is classic.
The very end of the film (not counting the Red Skelton epilogue)is amusing. When it was filmed, the contrast of the early aircraft with modern jets was rather neat, but watching those antique jets now is rather quaint.
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