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|Index||116 reviews in total|
For a big, bloated Hollywood excuse to show 50 or 60 cameos it's not the
worst thing on film. I enjoyed spotting all the stars, but the overall
purpose for this movie escapes me.
This movie is in need of some serious editing. There was no reason to show five minutes of a flamenco dancer or six minutes of bullfighting or eight minutes of the French countryside from above, etc. No doubt the footage is impressive in and of itself, but these scenes as they are do not belong in this movie. It's shocking, actually, how terribly put together it is.
It has its moments, like the cargo ship sequence, and Shirley MacLaine is beautiful, and Cantinflas is sometimes amazing as the non-specific European sidekick (is he Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese?). But it is way too long and there are too many tedious sequences.
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 is a bit dated by now, but still not a bad film to watch. It seems
like more of a travelogue than anything else, at this point. Frankly,
at three hours and being a mid-50s film, I thought it might be too slow
in too many spots but that was not the case. Only the bullfighting
scene went on too long. The rest kept my interest.
David Niven gets top billing but the real star of the show is "Cantinflas," a Spanish actor who, to my knowledge, only made it big in this movie.....at least in this country. He is very likable and entertaining. The only thing is he is not always easy to understand. I used English subtitles a few times when he spoke.
Niven played his normal stiff-neck Brit role. Thank goodness we don't see those, "I say, old bean" characters from GB anymore. However, I have always appreciated the British vocabulary, so much more refined than here in North America. Shirley MacLaine was so young I didn't recognize her. Of course, she made it difficult to spot her playing a brown-skinned Indian princess.
In all, decent entertainment but one that might bore a lot of people today, which is probably why they did a re-make. I haven't seen the re-make, but I'll bet it isn't as good as this movie.
Is Around the World in 80 Days a good movie? The more I look at it, the more I think it isn't. Artistically it is all over the shop and strikes me as the sort of thing that a bunch of 3-year-olds on crack would do if they had the relevant skills. Look! It's Cantinflas! (who?) and John Gielgud in the same scene! Now it's a travelogue and they're in France, headed to Spain by accident. Let's have Jose Greco do some flamenco and Gilbert Roland will save the day after the bull ring! Doesn't Robert Newton know that David Niven is a good guy? Nice music! I didn't know Shirley Maclaine was Indian. Nice picture of a dhow at sunset! Who's that guy, daddy? Watch Buster Keaton run the train over the bridge just before it collapses. Why does Passepartoute never mention to his boss that Fix intends to arrest him, first chance he gets? Hey! Elephants! And so on and so on. It's exhausting, like trying to keep a box score on three baseball games while you're in a boxing match. Verne knew this when he was writing the novel. He knew his inexplicable (to the French) clockwork Englishman, the sort who doesn't have any training, but nonetheless goes out and does the impossible on a whim was unstoppable, except by another Englishman. Otherwise, the whole thing turns into a travelogue in which Fogg overcomes the random, feeble efforts of nature and man to stop him, and the surprise ending. Until then, there really isn't much of interest going on. Until Fix shows up, it's all straightforward and dull. Hey look! It's Ronald Colman and Bea Lillie! Thing is, they distract you from all that, with the pictures and cameos. It's great spectacle. It's just not a particularly good movie.
As a kid I really enjoyed Michael Anderson's Around the World in Eighty
Days, it looked spectacular fun with a lot of stars popping in.
Watching the film some years later, it really is an overlong mess and the silliness is hard to overlook.
The film however does look gorgeous, it is beautifully photographed, filled with countless star cameos, many of them who are now forgotten. The film is helped by some wonderful location shooting, this is certainly not just the Universal back-lot
David Niven is effortless as Phileas Fogg who has to circumnavigate the world in 80 days in order to win a wager. Cantinflas is just OK as his servant and comic relief, Passepartout who seems to constantly slow Fogg down with his overlong routines such as the bullfight in Spain that just goes on and on.
Just watched this film for 1st time on the BBC. Just wondered if the Back to the future films were based in some way to this film. David Niven reminds me a bit of the professor in Back to future and of course the references to Jules Verne? I would like other peoples opinion. Thank you.com
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When this movie came out, I was a high school freshman. "Around the
World in 80 Days" in Todd-AO was a splendor to behold then. And on
later viewings, it continues to delight. Modern audiences of the 21st
century may not find it as enchanting. But, in the 1950s, world travel
still was something mostly for the wealthy and some businesses.
American television had little fare that showed foreign lands. For most
of us, the movies and National Geographic Magazine were how we saw the
broader world that we read about in school. So, "Around the World" was
a window on much of the world that most people had only read or heard
about. And, what a window it was and is, with spectacular scenery,
vistas, views of foreign lands, and adventures through colorful and
I can't imagine anyone wouldn't know the premise of the film, and the book on which it's based. Jules Verne (1828-1905) was a masterful adventure storyteller. He is among the most renowned of French authors, and probably the best-known and read adventure and sci-fi writer of all time. He is indeed, the father of science fiction. Hollywood made four of his 66 novels into excellent movies, and three dozen more films have been made in various countries that were inspired by Verne novels or excerpted from them. Who can forget the big four Jules Verne stories from the mid-20th century films of them? The first was "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" in 1954, followed by "Around the World" in 1956. The next sci-fi classic was "Journey to the Center of the Earth" in 1959, and the last of Verne's works with a worthy film production was "Mysterious Island" of 1961.
One thing that enhanced Verne's work was the meticulous research he did for his novels. Of course, many of his sci-fi subjects have become a reality submarines, rockets, travel to the moon. The most fantastic that stretched the imagination was "Journey to the Center of the Earth." Verne combined knowledge of the best current science with history and geography to create his fantastic adventure stories. Since 1980, Jules Verne is the second most translated author in the world just behind Agatha Christie and ahead of William Shakespeare.
A couple of quotes from his biographies are timeless. "Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth." And, "We may brave human laws, but we cannot resist natural ones."
In the introduction to the DVD film I have, film historian Robert Osborne gives some interesting background on the movie, "Around the World." The making of the film was as much a wonder, as the story itself. And, one man deserves the credit for bringing this great Verne adventure to the screen. When everyone else said it couldn't be done, Michael Todd pulled strings, cajoled people, scrounged for funding, got the best talent and writers he could, and pulled out all the stops. He set out to make a classic like no other, and he did just that.
The cast for the film is superb. In the intro, Osborne says, "There was only one actor Michael Todd envisioned as the film's lead character, Phileas Fogg. And, that was David Niven, who was more than pleased to play the part." The second major role of Passepartout, was a real achievement by Todd. He considered Cantinflas to be the greatest living performer. And, although the Mexican actor who then was the wealthiest actor in the world, had never made a movie in English, Todd flew to Mexico to meet him. A week later, Cantinflas agreed to do the part. Niven and Cantinflas made a perfect combination to build the story around. Then, Todd set out to get a host of big name stars to add to the film. To do this, he coined the phrase, "cameo part." So, instead of their having bit parts, 36 actors were celebrated for their small parts as gems or star jewels in the film. Osborne says, "For the rest of his life, Niven said it was his favorite of all the roles he ever played."
It's interesting that this Verne story doesn't have a balloon in it. At least two of his books had hot air balloons "Five Weeks in a Balloon" and "Mysterious Island." Todd thought "Around the World" should have a hot air balloon, so it has one.
This movie probably holds the record for the number of locations for filming. It was filmed at 52 locales in eight countries and regions, including cities from London to Hong Kong, and Tokyo to San Francisco. Film crews shot in Bangladesh, China, France, Japan, the Persian Gulf, Spain and Thailand. In the U.S. they filmed in California, New Mexico, Colorado and Oklahoma. And, four different major studios were used for filming Estee Studios in England, and three in California: RKO, 20th Century Fox and Warner Brothers.
"Around the World in 80 Days" won five of eight Oscars for which it was nominated, including Best Picture of 1956. It won over some tremendous films that year ("The King and I," "The Ten Commandments," "Giant," and "Friendly Persuasion.") It also won two Golden Globes including best picture.
Later versions of this film were made, but none on the scope and expanse of this great production. With tens of thousands of extras in this film, and yet unspoiled or undeveloped areas captured in 1956, it's unlikely that any future production could ever equal this classic. Even though world travel has shrunk and technology now makes pictures from around the world almost instantaneous to anyone, an imaginary trip such as in "Around the World" should please audiences for decades to come.
6.8 really. People must just love boring movies. I do not like boring movie. This is slow and has an awful story line. It not a 6.8 that is just overrating it. This is very boring. I give it 4 out of 10. Because it so boring. Do not waste your money. And do not waste your time. You could your time doing better things then watching this boring movie. Life is to short for this boring movie. It so boring it is boring to watching. Do see this movie. It is not a good movie. Do not see it. You could see Godzilla. Or could see King Kong. Or you could see Gamera. You do not need to see this. You could see Star wars. There are a lot of great films out there. And this is not one of them. Do not see this movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Without checking I have no way of knowing if Mike Todd made his neg cost back let alone showed a profit on this but if hype can bring the punters in it's reasonable to assume he did go well into the black. The principal things it had going for it were the locations spanning several continents plus a cast that included what appeared to be everyone currently (1956) working, if only appearing in cameos. The two I could have cheerfully done without were Cantinflas and Shirley MacLaine but against that Noel Coward and Johnny Gielgud had a reasonable amount of screen time and Robert Newton had the lion's share of the support. It's basically a one-trick pony but probably worth one viewing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS is doubtless the definitive big screen
adaptation of the Jules Verne novel, although I admit to loving the
1980s cartoon version of the series as a kid. All I remember about the
cartoon nowadays is that it re-posited the main characters as dogs and
had a really cool theme tune. But I digress: in terms of sheer
1950s-era star-studded spectacle, this film version takes some beating.
This is a big bucks lavish production which looks absolutely glorious in high definition. From the first scenes of Cantinflas riding through the streets of London on his Penny Farthing you know you're in for a visual treat and the film's cinematography never disappoints in that respect. I also really appreciate the fact that the budget was high enough to allow for filming in exotic locales including Hong Kong and Japan.
At times, this film appears to be something of a shallow viewing experience. It lurches from one big set-piece to the next with little in the way of depth or insight. At the same time, it keeps you watching without getting bored, no mean feat considering the extended running time. I thought that Cantinflas dominated the screen a bit too much and occasionally makes David Niven feel like a supporting player in his own movie, but that's not too great a flaw. The endless celebrity cameos are inevitable highs and some of the set-pieces, like the Indian attack, are brilliantly conceived. AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS really is one of those films that they simply don't make anymore.
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