Inspired by the writings of Jules Verne, Blast-Off (aka Those Fantastic Flying Fools) brings together a host of American and British entertainment icons in a comedy-adventure that pays homage to the inventive slapstick mashups The Great Race and Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines.
Burl Ives (The Big Country, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) stars as P. T. Barnum, the blustering showman who at first balks at, then embraces the idea of a projectile which could travel to the moon. And if anyone is going to make sure that America reaches the moon first, it’s Phineas T. Barnum! The eccentric cast of characters that populate Blast-Off include the nefarious Sir Harry Washington-Smythe (Terry-Thomas, How to Murder Your Wife), his equally devious brother-in-law Sir Charles Dillworthy (Lionel Jeffries, Camelot), the dashing young American Gaylord Sullivan (Troy Donahue, A Summer Place) and Madelaine (Daliah Lavi, Casino Royale), Gaylord’s voluptuous paramour.
Blast-Off, directed by Don Sharp (The Kiss of the Vampire) from a screenplay by Dave Freeman (based on an original story by Peter Welbeck) and produced by Harry Alan Towers, features supporting performances by Gert Frobe (Goldfinger), Hermione Gingold (Gigi), Dennis Price (Kind Hearts and Coronets), Stratford Johns (The Professionals) and Graham Stark (A Shot in the Dark).