Funny movie quotes from Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines or How I Flew from London to Paris in 25 Hours 11 Minutes (1965) – the zany, early-days aviation race comedy
The Neanderthal Man (Red Skelton): [watches a gull flying over a beach]
Narrator: Ever since man started to think, he’s wanted to fly. But flying was strictly for the birds.
The Neanderthal Man (Red Skelton): [flapping his arms enthusiastically, he leaps from a sandy bluff and falls onto the beach below]
Narrator: 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]
Narrator: Man, eternally optimistic, kept trying.
[a man in medieval times, also in man-made wings, jumps from a cliff, after which a variety of failed experimental flying machines from the late 1800s are depicted]
Narrator: Encouraged by his many successes, man kept trying. Through his genius and his inventiveness, he managed to get his machines off the ground – and sometimes, he brought them down again.
[Count Emilio Ponticelli is seen starting his flying machine]
Narrator: All over the world, early pioneers were making flying history. And in Italy, Count Emilio Ponticelli made what many people claim was the first long-distance flight.
[the screen widens, as Ponticelli is seen crashing about 100 feet after taking off]
Narrator: There was no doubt about it; by nineteen hundred and ten, flying had become the rage – man had conquered the air, and people everywhere were all agog about those magnificent men in their flying machines.
Captain Rumpelstoss (Karl Michael Vogler): [reading letter] “His Imperial Majesty the Kaiser commands… that a German officer wins the London-Paris air race. You will make arrangements accordingly.”
Count Manfred Von Holstein (Gert Fröbe): There is nothing a German officer cannot do.
Captain Rumpelstoss (Karl Michael Vogler): But… how will I learn to fly?
Count Manfred Von Holstein (Gert Fröbe): Same way as we learn everything else in the German army: From the book of instructions!
Count Manfred Von Holstein (Gert Fröbe): [reading from flight instruction manual] Number one: Sit down.
Captain Rumpelstoss (Karl Michael Vogler): It is impossible to cross, Herr Colonel.
Count Manfred Von Holstein (Gert Fröbe): Nothing is impossible for the fatherland.
Lord Rawnsley (Robert Morley): The trouble with these international affairs is that they attract foreigners.
Sir Percy Ware-Armitage (Terry-Thomas): I’m not only going to join it, dear boy. I’m going to win it.
Patricia Rawnsley (Sarah Miles): Do you really think you have a chance, Sir Percy?
Sir Percy Ware-Armitage (Terry-Thomas): Miss Rawnsley, I never leave anything to chance.
Lord Rawnsley (Robert Morley): I believe if the Lord had intended me to fly, he would have given me wings.
Patricia Rawnsley (Sarah Miles): You travel by train, father, but you haven’t any wheels.
Richard Mays (James Fox): Uh, Newton, may I have a word with you? I think I should mention… that if you continue to make advances to my fiancée, I shall knock your block off. Champagne?
Sir Percy Ware-Armitage (Terry-Thomas): [to Orvil] You caused me to crash my flying machine. I therefore intend giving you a jolly good thrashing. Ready?
Courtney (Eric Sykes): You’re not going… You’re not going to sabotage it, governor?
Sir Percy Ware-Armitage (Terry-Thomas): I certainly am not. You are.
Sir Percy Ware-Armitage (Terry-Thomas): I’ve given the Frenchman the address of a very lovely young lady.
Courtney (Eric Sykes): Oh, ho, ho – I’ll bet she’s a bit of all right, guv’nor.
Sir Percy Ware-Armitage (Terry-Thomas): You should know – she’s your daughter.
Courtney (Eric Sykes): But guv’nor – she’s an innocent young girl!
Sir Percy Ware-Armitage (Terry-Thomas): Not is, Courtney – was!
Sir Percy Ware-Armitage (Terry-Thomas): You dirty rotter! I had hoped that I should be dealing with a gentleman.
Trawler Skipper (Maurice Denham): So had I.
Fire Chief Perkins (Benny Hill): Leave my fire engine alone!
Count Emilio Ponticelli (Alberto Sordi): Like-a Caesar, we go to England!
Count Emilio Ponticelli (Alberto Sordi): It is a pity that the race will now be won by a Protestant.
Mother Superior (Flora Robson): Protestant?… Sisters, don’t stand around gaping – this good Catholic needs our help!
Count Emilio Ponticelli (Alberto Sordi): You are sure it will fly?
Harry Popperwell (Tony Hancock): Of course it’ll fly! What do you think it’s gonna do, lay an egg?
Colonel (Fred Emney): [watching Mays take off after having helped him return to the race] I think I’ll get one of those, Muriel.
Colonel’s Wife (Cicely Courtneidge): I shouldn’t, Willie – you’re near enough to your wings as it is.