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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/
What a lovely movie if you consider the year of production... certainly one of the top 100 movies of all time. music,dance,acting,adventure,comedy,performance,costumes,production value all in one movie... particularly the DVD collector's version is marvelously . This movie crosses the time barrier and provides entertainment to all. Particularly I enjoyed the music and colour cinematography of this movie. It is watchable across generations. The Spanish comedian and supporting actor appears to have lots of skills avoiding dupE IN BULL FIGHT SCENES. What a great producer TODD is. I understand he has produced only one movie but his contribution to the film world is huge.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This production hews very closely to the original novel on which it is
based, except for three things: (SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER!) 1. There
is no balloon flight in the original novel - the characters have to
make their way around the world by boat and train.
2. The trial scene - where Fogg and Passepartout are put on trial for sacrilege - is entirely missing from the film.
3. Princess Aouda is dressed in Hindu garb all throughout the movie, while in the novel it is specifically said that she is wearing "a dress of Scotch material, a large cloak, and a magnificent otter-skin coat, for which (Passepartout) did not hesitate to pay seventy-five pounds." She only appears in Hindi garb when she is first introduced during the processional to the place where she is to be sacrificed to Kali, the Goddess of love and death, which was her husband's deity.
These three problems cause me to award the movie a score of eight out of ten points.
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.
I've been puzzled for years when I have seen the re-releases and
earlier video versions. I remember seeing a different and longer set of
End Credits when the picture was released and on its 70mm (Todd-AO)road
show. It featured shots of the various actors in there roles. A
remember in particular that they did not show Frank Sinatra's face
during the film, only revealing it in the end credits.
I only saw the fully animated version when the 35mm version went around. So which version of the end credits were original attached to the movie? Was it the version I saw the original or was Bass's animated version?
Still an important DVD release.
This is the kind of film you see when you're young and remember with fondness for the rest of your life. Based on the Jules Verne story of an English gentleman who takes his manservant around the world with him in order to try to win a wager he has made to a fellow member of his London club, it combines charm with warmth, humanity and a sense of adventure. David Niven is perfectly cast as the perfect English gentleman abroad. Needless to say, the film was made long before Hollywood decided that the only role for an Englishman was that of nasty villain! The supporting cast is wonderful too. Of course this is not a great film in the accepted sense, but it never set-out to be, and that is part of its charm! Just enjoy it.
The movie is about a Londoner Phileas Fogg, who bets his club members that he could go 'Around the world in 80 days'.He sets on his quest with his Man-servant Passepartout and along the way they encounter a lot of unusual situations which are overcome in equally unusual manners.All along they are pursued by a Scotland Yard detective who thinks the twosome is responsible for a Bank Robbery in England. This is a movie that i eagerly wanted to watch as i found the book by Jules Verne 'unputdownable'. I loved it very much but the 'what happens next'suspense was lacking like when you were reading the book. I know books cant be exactly converted into movies but i found the Screenplay writer omitting important incidents. Apart from that every aspect of the movie was really good and was aptly rewarded by the Academy with 5 Oscars. The casting was great as you can totally picture David Niven as Phileas Fogg. Shirley Maclaine was believable as Princess Aouda and Cantinflas as Passepartout was exceptional. A lot of cameos by Hollywood Who's who like Marlene Dietrich, Frank Sinatra etc made it interesting. If we are willing to forget the minor glitches regarding authenticity of certain facts made by Jules Verne while writing the Novel we can find the movie a wholesome entertainer which we can watch with our family.I would watch it again.
This leisurely paced epic is jocular and is a cameo-appearance-watcher's
heaven. It's all a bit too top-heavy to support a rather simple story. But
Cantinflas is a lot of fun as Passepartout, and Robert Newton is marvelous
as Niven's nemesis, Fix. Shirley MacLaine lends her beauty and wit to the
proceedings as Princess Aouda. The film seems to stop for spectacular
cinematography and the cameos at times. But, it is still beautiful and
But, speaking of Newton and MacLaine, I must take IMDB to task for this one although I recognize they are merely copying from the film's cast list. Still, when one transforms from one medium to another, some judgment must be exercised. In order for the uninitiated to find out that Newton and MacLaine (two of the film's four major characters) are even in the film, one must click on the blue more button for additional cast members, One normally does not bother to do this because all one normally sees are credits for the likes of Jennifer Baliniczewski, Haley Tiresius, Forrest J. Ackerman, Zvi Frischman, and Skip Jackson.
Please IMDB, bring Newton and MacLaine up front with Niven and Cantinflas. The movie's top stars should be featured at the top. Then the rest can be listed alphabetically.
Mike Todd created the movie cameo -- a big star in a bit part. But recognizing the stars in the little parts is just one element of the fun in the film, and even if the viewer doesn't recognize the stars, the film is still enjoyable. Jules Verne's classic is given royal treatment here, and we viewers are taken along for one of the most entertaining quick tours ever conceived. Even the closing credits, which are done as a cartoon retelling of the whole movie, are entertaining.
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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