Phileas Fogg accepts a challenge from his fellow members at the Reform Club and sets of prove that you can travel around the world in a mind-boggling 80 days. He sets off by train to Paris with his new valet Passepartout but then is forced to continue the trip by balloon arriving next in Spain where Passepartout has an interesting encounter in the bullfighting ring. They finally make their way across the Mediterranean and through the Suez canal, arriving in Bombay two days ahead of schedule. They board the train for Calcutta where they find there is a 50 mile gap midway. The break in their journey proved eventful as they rescue an Indian princess, Aouda, who is about to be forced to commit suttee - throwing herself on her dead husband's funeral pyre. They make to Calcutta and on to Siam and the Honk Kong. Throughout the voyage, they are followed by a detective, Mr. Fix, who is convinced that Fogg is the thief responsible for the recent £55,000 theft at the bank of England. In Honk ... 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)
Some of the ship scenes were completed in the Sersen tank at 20th Century-Fox studios under the supervision of Fox visual effects supervisor Fred Sersen. The visual effects team worked on the boat props as well. The Sersen tank was used for a number of independent productions including Walt Disney's 20000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954). See more »
In all the close-up scenes with the gas balloon the basket ropes are tight from the load ring and down, but from the load ring and up to the balloon they are slack. Had it been a real flying gas balloon, all the ropes and also the net above the load ring would have been very tight during flight since they are carrying the weight of the basket and everything in it. It is clearly visible that the lifting force, by a stage crane, is erroneously placed in the center through the appending gas valve. Had the sandbags on the basket actually contained sand, they would not have bounced around so lightly. Not to venture into details, but most of the flight behavior of the balloon is completely unnatural when compared to the behavior of a real aerostat under such circumstances. See more »
[to Phineas Fogg, as he is leaving the saloon]
You still in a hurry? I thought the English were calm, dreamy sort of people.
See more »
There are no opening credits. The film begins with 'Edward R. Murrow (I)' narrating a prologue showing the history of flight. Then, the actual story begins with no opening credits whatsoever. See more »
Around the World in 80 Days is part comedy and part demonstration of a new wide-screen process. I saw it in its original run at the old Rivoli Theater in New York, where the screen ran from 48th St. to 49th St. People gasped at the size of the screen when the curtains opened, before the film even got underway.
If you watch the new 16x9 DVD on anything less than a 50-inch television, the visual composition and the pacing are absolutely incomprehensible, and you're on your own to seize on the many little things that are there to entertain you. But as a whole, the film loses its reason for being when viewed on a conventional TV.
David Niven is unbeatable as Phileas Fogg, Shirley Maclaine is implausible but slyly humorous as the Princess, Robert Newton appears sober most of the time and hammy all of it as Inspector Fix.
Cantinflas is inexplicable as Passepartout, except perhaps as Mike Todd's attempt to corral the entire Latin American market. The Mexican comedian's English is very shaky; it slows him down, and his clarity comes and goes and makes me wonder if Paul Frees didn't replace a lot of his lines. At any rate, only in the seemingly improvised encounter with Red Skelton at a buffet does Cantinflas do anything remotely humorous, and there he's the straight man.
The cameos are fun, and if you're too young to know who all these geezers are, it's worth it to find out, and use the IMDb to track down the work that made them famous. I remember the shriek the original audience let out when the piano player was revealed to be Frank Sinatra.
Viewing the film now, I was most moved to see Edmund Lowe and Victor McLaglan reunited in the engine room of the Henrietta, thirty years after they riveted the industry in "What Price Glory?" Buster Keaton concentrates really hard in his appearance as the train conductor, to excellent effect. A. E. Matthews gives a terrific acting lesson in saying "no" a half a dozen times in a London sequence.
Among the original bettors, locate Ronald Squire with the drooping mustache, hollow nasal baritone, and a slouching relaxation while performing that was a marvel - Rex Harrison publicly admired Ronald Squire's ease on stage all his life. In fact, Squire is so relaxed he makes someone like Dean Martin seem uptight.
So, this film is an unusual case - requiring patience for lots of little joys on the small screen, but making sense only on a large one.
11 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?