THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES
1965, 20th Century Fox, 132 min, UK, Dir: Ken Annakin

Stuart Whitman, Sarah Miles, Robert Morley, James Fox and the ever-delightful Terry-Thomas star as a group of lovably crack-pot aviators, inventors and villains competing to win a London-to-Paris air race in 1910, in director Ken Annakin’s irresistible combination of epic adventure and slapstick comedy.


BATHING BEAUTY
1944, Park Circus/MGM, 101 min, USA, Dir: George Sidney

Hit songwriter Steve Elliott (Red Skelton) is getting married when his producer (Basil Rathbone) disrupts the ceremony to keep him focused on music; his bride (Esther Williams) leaves to teach at a women’s college and Steve uses every trick in the book to pursue her. Swimming champ Williams made such a splash in her first starring role that the Technicolor musical was retitled from “Mr. Co-Ed” to give her part more prominence (the pool sequences are justifiably legendary).


THE FULLER BRUSH MAN
1948, Sony Repertory, 93 min, USA, Dir: S. Sylvan Simon

In what’s often cited as his best feature, funnyman Red Skelton plays a man struggling to hold down a job until his sweetheart (Janet Blair) pulls some strings for him at the Fuller Brush Company. Red proves surprisingly effective as a door-to-door salesman - until he’s mistaken for a murderer when a customer turns up dead. The slapstick and one-liners fly fast and furious in this film, co-written by the great Frank Tashlin.


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