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|Index||99 reviews in total|
This movie was very effective because it instilled a sense of adventure and fun. Very often, movies try to sell an interesting setting. Here's an idea? If audiences like a good setting, why not put lots of settings. And it's one that the movie pulls off. From the jungles of India to the Wild West, to the bullfights of Spain this movie is packed with entertaining settings. The movie's central plot is fairly weak. The strength comes mainly from the series of adventures that come with each place they travel. Another strength of the movie is the gradual but dynamic changes within the characters. Phileas Fogg starts out an upper class man, who doesn't really have much reguard for anyone who's not rich or well-respected. As he goes around the world, we see him having a heightened appreciation of the world around him. His conversations shows he has figured out what the people who don't spend their time drinking tea and talking about royalty are like. The two noticeable ways he changes are his friendship for Pasepartue, in which he sacrifices his valuable time to save him, and the Princess in which he also sacrifices valuable time to save her. That is the main message of this movie. About a snob who's eyes are opened up. What's great is that this message is sent on a bite-sized level easy to absorb. The movie is also heightened by the clever injection of an antagonist who's right under his nose. Lastly, David Niven delivers a masterful performance. His snobbish personality and cleverness shine through in everything he says and every action he takes. Fogg's cleverness radiates through the major dramatic actions. There is consistently a good balance of fun and adventure along with the major plot going on. Don't forgot, the ensemble. I don't think any one movie has ever assembled such an infamous cast of extras. People ranging from Frank Sinatra to Cesar Romero to Meredith Dietrich to Kit Carson starred in this movie. The cast of extras is an example of the fine touches this movie uses to heighten an already successful book, making it a masterpiece.
I came into this film with quite high expectations, having read the book and
having a high regard for Niven's abilities on screen...however I was highly
The film is a contradiction in itself - it is too shallow and Fogg appears to leap from one place to the next without really invoking any feeling for where he's at; but it is also too slow and unfocused on what it does include (like that Spanish Flamenco dance that seems to go on for sooooo long).
There is very little character development (and in a film that is three hours long you really do need it), so much so I was hoping that by the time Fogg got to America he would sell Princess and his annoying little Butler to the Indians in return for a script.
True, the photography is outstanding, but a high budget and pretty pictures does not a good film make, as they say. And the bizarre psychadelic credits at the end? How does that conjure up a nice image of Victoriana? Which leads me to conclude that the whole film was an utter mess, not knowing where it wanted to go, how long to stay there and how to communicate it, despite the pots of money that must have been thrown its way. Even trying to place this picture in its original context, I still cannot see why it ended up quite like this.
Spotting the stars was fun, spotting the script was not.
With a project this ambitious, it probably should not be much of a
surprise if some of it works very well while other portions are less
effective. It's the kind of grand-scale movie that is so often highly
acclaimed in its own day, regardless of what weaknesses it might have.
It does have some very satisfying and entertaining sequences, yet
overall the quality is uneven.
There's no question that much of Jules Verne's story readily lends itself to the screen, and a somewhat less indulgent production might have made for a pretty good movie. A number of the sequences just go on a little too long, neither advancing the story nor providing much in the way of entertainment or thematic content. The story in itself is an interesting one, and the film works best when it stays on track.
It's fun, of course, just to watch and try to catch all the cameo appearances. A few of them seem to have been forced into the script just to boost the total, but others work well. It's also enjoyable to see the footage from Méliès's "Trip to the Moon", although after that the prologue ends up dragging on a little too long.
There's more than enough here to make it worth seeing, and it is usually enjoyable - it's just that it's too long and sometimes a little too much, and a less lavish approach would probably have made it better.
This fun picture deals with known story about gentleman Phineas Fogg
wagers he can circumnavigate the earth and he sets off on spectacular
journey . Lavish rendition with all-star cast , it finds Victorian
gentleman wagering that he can circle the globe in 80 days . Classic
adaptation based on Jules Verne novel with a marvelous duo , David
Niven and his faithful butler well played by Cantinflas who confront
much excitement and a lot of adventures along the way . The film
provides ample amusement and entertainment , it concerns about a
Victorian English gentleman named Phileas Fogg (David Niven always
professed that Phileas Fogg was his favorite role) and his manservant
named Passapart (Cantinflas, in the mid-50s, he was the wealthiest
movie star in the world, and was given top billing in Latin countries)
. He takes a wager with various gentlemen from 'The Reform Club' that
he can circle the globe around the world in 80 days . Just before the
time they leave , a valuable lot of money is robbed and the authorities
and president of Bank of England believe that unflappable Fogg is the
guilty and a Detective set out after him . Later on , they save a
damsel in distress, a gorgeous Indian girl (Shirley MacLaine to this
day contends that she was miscast in this, her third film) . Using
various means of transport as balloon , trains , steamer , flying
machine and following a way , Fogg along with Passepart go to Dover ,
Paris , Spain , Calcuta , Burma jungle , Hong Kong , Yokohama ,
Forbidden city of Pekin , San Francisco , Omaha and New York , as they
are trying back to London . Meanwhile , they are chased by an Inspector
named Fix (Robert Newton) who suspects him of a daring bank theft .
This funny picture is plenty of adventures , humor , action , rip-roaring and spectacular outdoors . From start to finish the entertainment and amusement is continued . The bullfighting sequence filmed in Chinchon , Spain , was added because Cantinflas had bullfighting experience , he actually was in the ring with the bull, eschewing the use of a stunt doublé ; this was one of the first sequences to be shot. The film features the longest closing credits sequence up to that time and for many years afterward - six minutes and twenty-one seconds , splendidly realized by Saul Bass ; all of the film's credits are shown only at the end, and the very last credit to be shown is the film's title . Big-budgeted take on by two great producers , Michael Todd and William Cameron Menzies , as the film used 140 sets built at six Hollywood studios, as well as in England, Hong Kong and Japan , 74,685 costumes were designed, made or rented for use ; the cast and crew flew over 4,000,000 miles ; 68,894 extras were used while shooting the film in 13 countries ; 90 animal handlers managed the record 8,552 animals used . Michael Todd's original estimate for the film's budget was $3 million ; the film ended up costing nearly double that, largely thanks to Todd's demands for verisimilitude and location shooting. There appears a variety of cameos , the star-gazers will particularly enjoy several known actors by many Hollywood's biggest names with more than thirty cameos for buffs such as Marlene Dietrich , Robert Newton , John Carradine , Noel Coward , Ronald Colman, Ronald Squire, Cedric Hardwicke, John Gielgud, Trevor Howard , Victor McLaglen and John Mills , Robert Morley who repeat in a 1989 TV version , among others ; in fact , the term "cameo", meaning in this case a small part by a famous person, was popularized by the many "cameo appearances" in this film. The colorfully cinematography by Lionel Lindon is well showed on sensational landscapes ; being second Todd-AO production , the first was Oklahoma!. Unforgettable and lively music by Victor Young including catching leitmotif .
This classic ¨Mike Todd's Around the world in 80 days¨ that hasn't lost its charm over the years was compellingly directed by Michael Anderson and generally considered the single largest film project ever undertaken in Hollywood . However , the movie began shooting with John Farrow as director, and Emmett Emerson as the first assistant director in London ; both were replaced. Filming was completed in 75 shooting days . Other versions are the followings : , Australian retelling titled ¨Around the world in 89 days (1986)¨ by Stephen MacLean and recent adaptation (2004) offering full of entertainment directed by Frank Coraci with Jackie Chan , Steve Coogan , Cecile De France , Mark Addy , Owen Wilson , Luke Wilson and many others . And a TV version (1989) with by Buzz Kulik with Pierce Brosnan , Eric Idle , Julia Nickson , John Mills, Robert Morley , among others .
Mike Todd was a promoter. He was a man with the talent for carrying out
the colossal hype, someone who could sell the proverbial refrigerator
to an Eskimo. He certainly displayed his genius in this glut of
scenery, costumes and extras, selling this mess of a movie to the
public in 1956. This film is so charmless, so humorless, such a
depiction of stereotypes and clichés, and not less egregious, a
squandering and misappropriation of acting talent. David Niven holds
his own, but he single-handedly can't sustain the whole show. The
talented Shirley MacLaine stands around wondering what she's doing and
how she got roped into agreeing to be part of the cast. As to how Todd
could have lured name stars to take on cameos, is a mystery to me.
Maybe people such as Frank Sinatra and Marlene Dieterich had nothing
better to do that day? Possibly the wide screen Todd A-O process
engulfed viewers and glued them into their theatre seats where they
watched like spellbound captives back in 1956, but today, there is
absolutely nothing to recommend this movie.
If nothing else, this movie stands as a testimonial to Hollywood's desperate bid to lure 1950s audiences away from their TV sets and back into the movie theatre.
I actually took a hot air balloon ride, so yes. I give this film a 10. Just to think a film from the 1950s could be so popular, Around the World in 80 Days, from the 1950s... Kimi Gee, being that I did the hot air balloon ride, probably almost made what was so exciting seem more. Why did this film get so popular? Maybe because I also went on a hot air balloon ride. What an adventure, going around the world, not knowing whether the wind would blow you to some remote island in the middle of no where or whether you would land somewhere popular that people had heard about your adventure... now I am in Guam. I tried the ride... and will try again one day... come on, it's just a balloon.
I read the book first and then saw the movie as an 11-year-old in 1957, in the theater in the original Todd-A-O format (ie., an alternative to Cinerama). Saw it again on TV last night as a geezer. In both instances, I though it was too long and boring. As a kid, I thought it was way too long between action sequences as featured in the book, to focus on extensive and incredibly long "travelog" scenes around the world. I guess the writers and director also thought it would be a "pull" to cram in as many cameos as they could of actors of the past and the then present. This also slowed down the plot in many instances. In the 1950s, most folks couldn't afford the high cost of foreign travel, and that might have been a reason for showing so many, and so long, just plain scenery scenes. But kids like me at the time probably couldn't care less. In the 2000's, adults interested in foreign travel have "been there, done that;" get on with the plot, please! And kids today still probably couldn't care less. In both instances, though, I thought the animated closing credits were fantastic! In 1957, before they started the movie, the theater manager came on stage and recommended that everyone stay for the closing credits. He was right!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a superb movie. From the introduction by Edward R. Murrow, to the animated credits at the end, it is one continuous fabulous film. The cameo appearances in the film are fantastic, including almost everyone who was anyone in movies at the time (slight exaggeration, but it includes such stars as Frank Sinatra, Gilbert Roland, Andy Devine, John Carradine, George Raft, and Marlene Dietrich, among many others). The music is excellent, and the photography is outstanding. It is sort of a high-class travelogue, and even includes many scenes using the Durango & Silverton Railroad (a train I have ridden a couple of times). Based on the book by Jules Verne, it is a great adventure story, although quite fanciful. The stars, David Niven, Cantinflas, and Shirley MacLaine, were perfectly cast. I will watch this film again many times.
Around the World in 80 Days (1956) may seem good on DVD, particularly
if you have a home theater, great sound, and sit close, BUT it was
HYPNOTIC when projected from a 70 mm print in Todd-AO. I saw it many
times that way during its long run (well over a year) in San Francisco
in 1956-1957. It was one of the few films (along with 2001: A Space
Odyssey) that used 70mm, and a huge deeply curved screen suggesting the
arc of vision in a way that produced a truly mesmerising effect. At the
time, people discussed whether the screen filling spinning world globe
near the end of Edward R. Murrow's prologue could have produced true
hypnotism, but, no it was just the magnificent photography, the
engulfing nature of Todd-AO, the extremely powerful, involving sound (a
114 piece orchestra and 6 channel stereo, warmer and probably better
than today's digital), and the high level of audience involvement.
If a fully restored 70 mm print is ever shown in one of the few remaining 70 mm theaters (e.g., in Seattle, Wash), I urge you to go!
See http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/ and http://in70mm.com/
I think it is high time to award this movie the points it deserves. Chan may have enhanced the role of the side kick, but where is the remake in the Oscars? THIS FILM BEAT OUT THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AND OTHERS FOR BEST PICTURE OF THE YEAR IN THE Oscar NOMINATIONS in 1956! It is timeless and priceless. I thank Turner and others for preserving it long into the future. Furthermore, the DVD version of the film has restored a long lost sequence of Passepartu (sp. ?) between when he was thrown from the train and the posse is formed to rescue him. I highly advise Chan fans to go back and look at the original. It may not be better, but it was first, and made with very primitive imaging equipment, and when people fell off their horse, THEY FELL OFF THEIR HORSE! Look to the source. May the source be with you.
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