When this movie is made in 1956, one can circumnavigate the globe in a little less than two days. When Jules Verne wrote the story "Around the World in Eighty Days" in 1872, he predicted that one day man could accomplish the task in eighty hours, but which most considered folly to do in eighty days in current times... that is except for people like Englishman Phileas Fogg, a regimented man who believed all it would take is exacting work, the skills he possesses. He just has to make sure a train's schedule meets the required sailing schedule which meets the required coach schedule and so on. As such, he takes up what ends up being the highly publicized £20,000 wager from his fellow members at the London Reform Club to do so, losing the bet which would ruin him financially. Along for the ride is Fogg's new, loyal and devoted valet, the recently arrived Latin immigrant, Passepartout, who possesses unusual skills which could be major assets, but whose all consuming thoughts on the ... Written by
(Mag-optical) (35 mm prints) (1956)|Mono
(optical) (35 mm prints) (re-release prints)|70 mm 6-Track
(70 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)|4-Track Stereo
(Perspecta Sound encoding) (35 mm magnetic prints) (1956)
The last line of dialogue is "This is the end". The closing credits then begin with the words WHO WAS SEEN IN WHAT SCENE ... AND WHO DID WHAT. The story is then recapped in 6 minutes of simple, minimally animated cartoon images, allowing the names of the many cast members who each appeared in just one scene to be shown in relation to that scene. Some of the crew credits (WHO DID WHAT) are interspersed with the cast credits. The very last thing shown is the film's title. See more »
This monstrously overblown 'entertainment' didn't just win the Oscar as the year's Best Picture but was also chosen by that august body, The New York Film Critic's Circle; it was hardly their finest hour. It's a producer's movie rather than a director's, (the producer was that showman Mike Todd), and he assembled a massive cast of 'stars' to appear in cameo roles to boost the film's box-office appeal and he made it in his own spectacular widescreen format, Todd-AO. Certainly everything about it was big and you felt like you were taking 80 days to watch it.
The main parts of Phileas Fogg, the intrepid gentleman-adventurer, and his man-servant, Passepartout, went to David Niven and the Mexican actor, Cantinflas. Niven was actually very good considering his role never really amounted to more than being host in a large-scale travelogue, while Cantinflas was as annoying as foreign actors can be when cast as comic foils in large-scale 'international' productions. Perhaps the worst piece of casting was that of Shirley MacLaine as an Indian Princess, a performance just marginally less insulting than those of Peter Sellers in "The Millionairess" and Alec Guiness in "A Passage to India".
Lionel Lindon's photography ensures that it's consistently easy on the eye; otherwise all it proves is that the world's a big place and who would want to spend 80 days in this company going round it.
11 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?