Those Fantastic Flying Fools (1967)

aka Jules Verne’s Rocket to the Moon
Article 2721 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-18-2008
Posting Date: 1-24-2009
Directed by Don Sharp
Featuring Burl Ives, Troy Donahue, Gert Frobe
Country: UK

P.T. Barnum attends a lecture on a new explosive and decides to finance the building of a rocket to the moon using the explosive as propulsion. However, he runs into trouble with spies and saboteurs.

At heart, this comic take on Jules Verne’s “From the Earth to the Moon” is really not very good; the pace is slow (it seems a lot longer than its 95 minute running time), the plot is contrived, and it’s a little short of laughs. But it does have a good cast (which includes Terry-Thomas, Lionel Jeffries and Dennis Price as well as those listed above), and its sense of geniality help make it fairly watchable, and there are some decent laughs in the mix. The best part is the beginning, where we see several scientific endeavors go awry. And, whatever its flaws, it’s a lot more entertaining than the snooze-inducing straight version of the story from the fifties.



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