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)
Over a dozen airline companies provided service to the actors and technicians on this film as they flew from Hollywood to the locations overseas. These included such major companies as Pan Am and TWA, as well as foreign companies such as Middle Eastern and Pakistan Air. Private pilot Paul Mantz also provided airline accommodations for producer Michael Todd. See more »
At the beginning of the movie, in London, carriages are shown driving on the right side and driving around roundabouts in a counter-clockwise direction. The opposite of British driving. 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.
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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 »
I stuck it out but was reminded that the previous time I saw it I had decided that I did not ever need to see it again. But this time it was in HD! Random comments: This was obviously made for the Cinerama (Todd-AO) screen, with the many travelogue scenes that are pretty but now read like a demonstration reel for a new (1950s) projection feature at Disney World. Many "look out the window, stock shot" sequences. OK, so they weren't stock shots but it sure felt like it.
IMDb says that at the time, Cantinflas was the highest-paid movie star in world. Apparently popular everywhere but the U.S. I did not find him particularly engaging or appealing.
There is nary a bit of humor or tension in the whole film. Each crisis is instantly solved by either money or a simple "Land Ho!". In fact, some sequences drag on way too long, specifically the ones in Spain. (Maybe for the Cantinflas audience?) There is a bullfighting sequence that goes on for nearly 15 minutes where absolutely nothing is at stake and the movie stops completely dead.
It was startling to go from the cinematic location shots to the obvious backlot first unit stuff. For such an "epic", it felt quite claustrophobic.
I liked and recognized many of the cameos. Apparently this was the film that started that trend.
The music was lush and wonderful, and the end title sequence was quite engaging (a Saul Bass production). This version had the Edward R. Murrow intro which I had not seen before, and the Intermission, Entracte, and Exit Music, all of which I quite like in an epic film event.
I kept mentally comparing this to some of the other big event films around the time, especially It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and The Great Race, both of which I enjoyed much more.
One thing that made me laugh is that one Indian fell off his horse three times. It may have been three angles of the same shot.
I did find it interesting that Fogg used a telescope much like the antique one I found I have. Now I wonder just how old it is?
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