Magnificent Mag Men

Today’s Poster. And a question!


A 1965 aviation film, ‘Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines’ that had huge public popularity then and even today. The cartoon illustrations used on the posters, in the credits and elsewhere in the film, by Ronald Searle also have become a core part of the film’s style, quite rightly. Roland is, of course, well known for his St Trinians schoolgirls and Nigel Molesworth books and a remarkable range of unique art through the latter half of the twentieth century.


Here we see Searle’s art blown up to huge size on the cinema’s facade to promote the film. A range of further drawings, related to the film’s characters and aircraft can be seen below. No one drew quite like him.



Meanwhile below is is the art from the Czech release of the film, behind the Iron Curtain, where western posters did not venture… It’s quite a different thing!


Now to the question. A number of replica aircraft were built for the film, including three Bristol Military Biplanes, or ‘Boxkites’ these constructed by Miles Aircraft. The question is, does anyone know that the Boxkite replica at the Museum of Army Flying, Oakey, is one of those Boxkites, and how it arrived in Australia? I outline the story and the question on my other blog here.

James Kightly, Vintage Aero Writer.

Credits: Most images from a website on the film that seems to have since vanished. Please let me know if you find it, or I can provide a credit. Searle’s artwork resides with his estate or Twentieth Century Fox Productions Ltd.

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