Want more recommendations for your family?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The cast is abundantly, exuberantly filled with hearty stereotypes, such as stiffly proper Britons, opera-singing Italians, laid-back cowboy Yanks, militaristic Germans, romantic Frenchmen, etc. (the Japanese entrant is a surprise; he has British mannerisms instead). There isn't any meanness in any of it. Noble, honest pilots win; the shifty, underhanded one doesn't.
Violence & Scariness
Flying-machine crashes and car-chase crackups are pretty frequent, but harmless. A punch-out. A clumsy duel fought with outsized rifles.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
A nude in a painting obliquely glimpsed. The model herself quickly clads herself in a towel. A flirty Frenchman insists on greeting and romancing girls with slaps on the bottom. Near the end he heads for a handy haystack with a woman.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
"Hell" uttered, the s-word muttered, and the ethnic slur "nip."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Mention of some real-life London newspapers.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Social drinking (with one of the wine glasses poisoned); cigar and cigarette smoking.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there are blink-and-you'll-miss them swear words and ethnic slurs, and a few stunts of a don't-try-this-at-home-with-cardboard-wings variety. One running gag concerns a Frenchman who seduces a string of women throughout (nothing explicit is shown). Some video boxes of this feature carry a "G," others a "PG," and there's no difference in content. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines recently charted high in a UK survey of favorite kid-friendly movies, and no wonder. From the opening faux-silent movie sequence with a caveman (mimed by Red Skelton), there's hardly a dull minute for viewers of any age, even with a super-sized length (home-video preserves the "intermission" break and orchestral overture for old-time theater audiences). The cast sparkles, and they're all larger-than-life actors playing broad character spoofs, right down to major Euro-actors in bit roles (yes, that's the villain from Goldfinger as the pratfalling German marshal).
Sets, costumes and nostalgic Edwardian-era flavor are a joy to behold. And the sputtering, chugging, wire-and-canvas flying contraptions are wonderful. In all but a handful of shots it's clear that these are real aircraft, not CGI or f/x illusions. Watching them aloft conveys some of the thrills that early plane-spotters might have felt back then.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.