The wacky, adventurous tale of a 1910 air race from London to Paris just when aviators were starting to make rapid progress with their amazing array of pioneering aircraft.
The versatile cast has Stuart Whitman as a cowboy who decides to strap into a bi-plane and forsake the horse and saddle, Sarah Miles as the delightful English lass he loves, Gert Frobe as the accident-prone German entrant, Terry-Thomas as a memorable villain, Robert Morley as the newspaper proprietor who sponsors the race and Tony Hancock and Eric Sykes as foiled villains.
The aerial stuntwork (replica vintage planes were built to fly in the movie) is tremendous and the goings-on – both in the air and on terra firma – are jam-packed with fun and hijinks.
Co-starring are Gordon Jackson, William Rushton, James Fox, Alberto Sordi, Benny Hill, Red Skelton, Flora Robson, Cicely Courtenidge, Sam Wannamaker and Irina Demick.
Ken Annakin directs, with the excellent camerawork organised by Christopher Challis and the bouncy, bright music from Ron Goodwin.
Count Emilio Ponticelli
Count Manfred Von Holstein
Sir Percy Ware-Armitage
Neanderthal Man/Ancient Greek Flyer/Medieval Flyer/Winged Bicycle Rider/Winged Car Rider/Jet Pack Tester/Ornithopter Pilot/Passenger in Airport
Fire Chief Perkins
Karl Michael Vogler
John Le Mesurier
Countess Sofia Ponticelli
Assistant Fire Chief
James Robertson Justice